6 Mobile Trends Your Website Should IncorporateLast Updated: May 3, 2018
While a website is hugely important to your business, it’s vital that you don’t treat as a static shop window, but a fluid portal that will enable your customers to find you on a variety of handheld devices.
The multiplicity of web connection options—whether iPad/tablet, smartphone, laptop or smartwatch—have presented significant challenges for responsive web design.
The development of user interfaces requires consideration of an increasing number of factors, from colour and font to customer context-responsiveness; from swiping and tapping engagement, to colour and imagery.
Here are six of the most significant trends in mobile design that you should be aware of, if you’re planning an upgrade for your business website
1. Less Is More
Modern tech facilitates so much that it’s tempting to throw everything but the kitchen sink into your mobile platform, so that no stone is left unturned in optimising the user experience.
However, successful designers will swing hard in the opposite direction, with a minimalist look and streamlined feel and application. The less clutter the better, particularly in e-commerce sites.
This approach extends to text volume and font choices. Over-texting a landing page is never wise, and this truism is paramount for mobile. And large fonts are definitely the way to go. Firstly, you don’t want to alienate users whose vision is less than perfect. Secondly, if the fonts are so small that users must enlarge them manually, you are ‘starting from behind’.
2. Go Diffuse & Subtle
The bright colours of the early mobile era have given way to subtle accents, reflecting the business brand, and not interfering with users attempting to find what they’re looking for.
A diffuse background, behind the user interface, has also become popular, thanks to early adopters such as Twitter and Yahoo Mail.
It’s a perfect fit for the mobile space, where you can subtly reference the colour and graphic/photo content of your brand without overpowering the site’s fundamental editorial elements, or making navigation difficult.
3. Know Where Your Customers Are
A context-aware user interface makes the most of mobile by automatically recognising users’ locations and time-zones, and providing information relevant to those respective locations with no user-input required. While the user must grant permission for an app or site to access data on the mobile device, it’s an optional single-entry action that unlocks a rich and user-friendly experience.
On this point, social media log-on is another fantastic option for mobile devices, as it allows swift single-stroke log-in and bypasses the form-filling of validation via email.
4. Upsizing & Downsizing
Developers are increasingly future-proofing their sites by creating websites that look great and are simple to navigate even on the smallest of screens.
This is primarily due to the popularity of items such as the Apple Watch, which is part of the Internet of Things, the connected network of physical devices, wearables, vehicles and other items, embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and actuators, which facilitate the collection and exchange of data with minimal user input.
However, developers are also aware of the significant section of the market that is looking for a larger-screen experience on their mobile devices, hence the emergence of devices such as the ‘phablet’ (a phone with the body-size of a mini tablet).
These upward and downward sizing trends mean that designers must ensure that the responsiveness of their sites can accommodate the varying tastes for screen size.
5. Swipe Your Way to Success
The early years of the iPad and tablets popularised tapping for option selection. However, tapping seems to be on the wane, if not a thing of the past.
The more fluid ‘swipe’ action has gained significant popularity, whether on a data app such as Tinder, or on image or information galleries of e-commerce websites.
6. Pop-Ups in the Departure Lounge?
While pop-ups work amazingly well on desktop or laptop, many of them simply don’t fit on the mobile screen. And when they do, the font is almost illegibly small and difficult to read. However, even critics of pop-ups will acknowledge their demonstrable effectiveness.
While a complete write-off of pop-ups is premature, users can expect a series of alternatives, such as the less intrusive ‘pop-under’, and customised blends of interactivity, rich media and ‘skyscraper’ banners that help online businesses achieve a desirable ROI.