Mobile Website Design: Everything You Need To Know

Mobile first

The Importance Of Mobile Website Design & User Expectations

Mobile website design is essential. Why? Because mobile devices are revolutionising the way in which we connect and communicate. As a result, the way businesses operate. In fact, there are now 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide according to Statista in 2020, and the majority of web traffic now comes from mobile devices. This makes it essential to have a mobile responsive website for your business if you want to rank locally

mobile first smartphone in pocket graphic

Mobile devices now dominate over desktop computers.  Mobile web traffic now accounts for 52.6% of global web traffic! And to add to its importance, mobile devices are now changing shopping habits.  According to Google, 59% of shoppers say that being able to shop on their mobile devices through E-Commerce  is important when deciding on which retailer or brand to buy from. Plus 70% of smartphone owners who made a purchase in-store turned to their mobile devices to research the purchase beforehand. If that’s not enough, Googles algorithm prioritises mobile friendly websites in the search results.

User Expectations

For successful mobile first web design, you need to ask – what does the mobile user want and expect?

Unlike with desktop websites, where users expect a visually dynamic and engaging experience that is relatively two-dimensional – mobile users want everything to feel real in the three-dimensional space. Nowadays, mobile users have come to expect certain things from the interface:

ecommerce website design exeter
  • Every call to action needs to be tappable and easy to see.
  • Graphics & images should load fast – if it’s over 3 seconds you could lose a customer!
  • Websites needs to integrate with all mobile device functionality such as mapping, calling and integration with other apps.
  • Interactions must be easy to follow – mobile users attention spans are the lowest they’ve been so elements need to work first time.

Desktop web design has both similar & different user expectations. Obviously, the aesthetics of the design need to be flawless on both platforms as well as seamless in functionality, but mobile users come to expect those listed above. Without these, customers and ultimately conversions could be lost.

What Is a Mobile Friendly Website?

A mobile friendly website is one that is designed and optimised for hand-held devices like smartphones and tablets. Complimenting it – mobile responsive design. Which is the process of creating a website that adapts to the screen size it’s viewed on.  A Desktop website is likely to have plenty of space with the page elements arranged side by side. The text is also relatively small compared to the size of the screen. On the other hand, when you view a website on mobile, the page elements are stacked atop each other. Larger buttons are used making calls to action and text easier to read and respond to. However, with so many device types and sizes and so many ways to design websites for those devices, the user experience a designer creates is what determines overall success of the site and whether a user will return.

How To Improve UX For Mobile Users

When we talk about a mobile friendly website, we’re talking about displaying a different version of your website to visitors viewing via mobiles to enhance their user experience or (UX). This can be achieved in a variety of ways:

Responsive Design

It is vital that your websites design adjusts to the screen size. Whether you’re just changing the size of your desktop table or even browsing from a mobile or tablet. Responsive design is the bare minimum you should be aiming for, and it’s what Google recommends. We believe that its worth further editing your mobile site, as you want to aim for an unforgettable UX rather than an acceptable one.

Dynamic Serving

dynamic serving

Visitors should be shown a different, purpose-built version of your website, depending on the device they’re viewing from. As in your website should show different formatting and spacing on a tablet over an iPhone.

A Mobile App

In some cases, having a separate app for your mobile audience makes sense. If this may suit your business, it is vital that your desktop website is perfect for those who neglect to download your application.

Mobile app use

Make Images & CSS As Light As Possible

Making the files on your website as light as possible is always a good idea. What we mean by this is that each element on your website carries a virtual “weight” Whether that’s a video or an image which has a file size, or code which needs to be loaded each time the website is clicked on. Google has been clear about the fact that website speed is a crucial ranking factor, meaning slow “‘heavy” websites will lose out to the competition on the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Compress Your Images

When uploading any image to your site, whether it’s mobile or desktop – It’s vital that you compress your images. This greatly reduces the file size without compromising on the image quality and essentially reduces the “weight” of your website.

mobile web design

These methods have been proven to improve a mobile users UX, therefore they are more likely to return to your site. If they feel comfortable, can navigate easily and trust your mobile site, you are likely to improve conversions and your businesses overall online presence.

Mobile First Web Design's Effect On SEO

As discussed, mobile first design has a massive impact on SEO and search engine result pages or SERPs ranking. In Google’s latest major algorithm update, they have stated that they are continuing efforts to make the web more mobile-friendly and reflect user behaviour trends. They set out to do this using mobile first indexing.

Mobile first indexing means that the mobile version of your website becomes the starting point for what Google includes in their index, and the baseline for how they determine rankings. if a site doesn’t have a mobile-friendly version, the desktop site can still be included in the index. But the lack of a mobile-friendly experience could impact negatively on the rankings of that site, and a site with a better mobile experience would potentially receive a ranking boost even for searchers on a desktop.

This shows the importance of mobile first web design. Online exposure, brand awarness and ultimately improvement in conversions can all be a sum of a functional and slick website that has mobile users prioritised over desktop.

5 Digestable Statistics About Mobile First Web Design

Below are 5 facts about mobile usage, and the importance of having your website designed with mobile users in mind:

  1. The average US adult spends 3 hours & 43 minutes on their smartphone every day according to e-marketer, with that figure only set to rise in the future!
  1. Two-Thirds of internet users use shopping apps on their mobile devises to carry out purchases according to Datareportal in 2019 – Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, you can expect this to rise drastically!
  1. Comscore ran a study that showed that 70% of the total digital media time is spent on smartphones.
  1. 6 out of every 10 mobile phone users have tried voice search at least once in the past year according to Quoracreative.
  1. This one is interesting – eMarketer ran a survey that shows that 69% of internet users prefer to look for reviews on their phones rather than approach an in-store employee! Could this mean the high street is truly on the way out?

Mobile First Web Design In Gloucester

If your business could benefit from bespoke mobile web design, contact the experts at Search4Local. Our front-end developers and web designers work coherently to ensure that your website is flawless for your customers on both mobile and desktop – representing your business in the best possible light online.

Contact us today on 01452452144 or email us at  for more information on how we can transform your website.


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