Today’s web browsers are no longer tied to their desktops. With a huge increase in the use of mobile browsing devices, it’s important to design your website with both tablets and mobile phones in mind.
Most tablets are touch sensitive with smaller screen sizes, so little buttons and difficult to navigate pages need to be a thing of the past (to be honest, they should never have been there in the first place).
To optimize your site for browsing on tablets, follow these simple tips and you’ll increase your mobile traffic in no time.
Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design means that the design of a webpage should be flexible enough to adapt to the screen size and platform of any visiting user.
To be able to do this a website needs to use:
- A Fluid Grid – This uses percentage of the screen size to define size rather than pixels.
- Media Queries – Using media queries checks for specific features of the device (width, height, orientation) and adapts the site accordingly.
- Responsive Images – Similar to using a fluid grid, images won’t have a fixed size but instead a ‘max width’ (usually 100% when displayed on a desktop).
However, it’s important to remember that using responsive design means more than simply adjusting the code. You need to think carefully about how your site will look on different sized screens. Images that look great on a desktop may not translate well on a tiny iPhone screen, and your users may not want to pinch and zoom to view every last bit of content on your site.
When designing a tablet friendly site, less, as ever, is more.
When using a tablet, browsers won’t have a keyboard or a mouse. Users must use their fingers to type on screen and click on links, so small buttons and forms with too many fields are likely to drive them away.
Use a large, clear font and a simple design that cuts down on unnecessary scrolling. You want your site to be easy to use, not frustrating!
Another thing to consider is the use of Flash on your site. It may look great on your desktop, but iPads don’t use Flash (and they make up for a large percentage of tablet use), so you need to build a completely different mobile version of your site without it to be tablet friendly.
Think About Developing an App
Sometimes, no matter how streamlined the mobile version of your website is, an app would be a million times better. If your site is based in e-commerce, a mobile app places your customers exactly where you want them, instead of allowing them to browse away from your site and on to a competitor’s.
Once you’ve designed your site, don’t forget to test it on as many different platforms as possible and adjust it accordingly.