Mobile First: Optimize for the Small Screen
Larger phone screens and the increasing popularity of “phablets” has fueled media consumption. As more and more people imbibe on screen-intensive activities like mobile Web browsing, shopping and entertainment, mobile data traffic is expected to grow tenfold in the next four years.
With the expanding device capabilities and the increased data capacity of the networks that support them, user expectations are rapidly changing. There is a growing movement toward more visual and audio experiences that combine sight, sound, motion and interactivity. You can see it in the rise in social networks like Instagram, Pinterest and Snapchat. Recent data from Piper Jaffray shows younger users are increasingly leaving Facebook and Twitter for these more visually oriented social networks.
Creating for the Small Screen
Even just a few years ago, we couldn’t count on desktops to have the speakers needed to deliver audio or the bandwidth to provide a smooth video experience. Today, we have an amazing audiovisual environment for creating and developing content.
Unfortunately, many website experiences don’t take advantage of the media-rich device capabilities. Here are eight best practices marketers should use when creating content for the small screen:
1. Make it responsive. Is your website mobile-friendly? If you’re not sure, check it right now at Google’s mobile-friendly test. It’s that important. Google now uses mobile friendliness as a ranking factor on mobile searches. Before, people might visit a site that’s not mobile-optimized, give up and move on. Today, they won’t even see it in their search results. And with more than half of searches now coming from mobile devices, you won’t even be in the game if your site doesn’t pass mobile muster.
2. Develop with the visitor in mind. Smaller screens make a well-organized site even more important. It’s often useful to create user stories to inform site design and development.
Think about the different types of visitors to your site and the kinds of experiences they’re looking for. How can you make it easier for them to get to the information they seek? How can you help them find the information that’s most important to your company? What kinds of offers and experiences will delight them?