How to Design Your Website For The Mobile-First Experience in 7 Easy Steps

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It doesn’t matter how awesome the desktop version of your website is, if you haven’t primed your website for the mobile experience you’ll be missing out on lots of potential sales. Your website needs to be optimized for everything when it comes to mobile, from the design to the overall shopping experience.

The rise and rise of mobile has been picking up momentum for a good few years now, and it’s already been two years since mobile usage overtook desktop for the first time. And because mobile users behave differently to desktop users, you have to think carefully about how you design your website for the mobile experience so that you don’t harm your brand. 

If 2019 is the year you dominate your niche, you have to go mobile ASAP – and you have to do it the right way. Let’s take a look at what you need to do.

Create Mobile-Friendly Content

Mobile users behave differently to desktop users. For one thing, they’re more impatient. As such, the way you present your content should be different to accommodate them and their smaller screens.

For example, you’ll need to shorten your headlines and make your copy more concise. It should be more to-the-point and direct, and it should contain less superfluous information. Make it as direct – but still engaging – as you can. 

Remember, your space is limited. To keep your text presentable, shorten your paragraphs and use tools to optimize your images. Make sure to keep checking how images look on your pages, too. You will need to customize their size to fit your site, and you’ll know as soon as you take a look at your page if an image is too big. 

Lastly, because your call to action is so important to your success, you need to make sure that it’s easily recognizable as a call to action. Add an easy-to-read button (use contrasting colours for the background and the button itself). 

It’s all about knowing your customers and what they want from you in terms of content. Keep checking your analytics to understand your target persona so that you can curate the best mobile-friendly content possible. 

Optimize Your Site Speed

Site speed is crucial to the success of the mobile version of your website. If your site takes too long to load, users will bail out. 

Not just this, but site speed is crucial to your SEO efforts, too. If users keep leaving early, your bounce rate will soar and you’ll drop down the rankings. 

It’s always a good idea to go with a hosting provider that can keep up with surges in traffic. The more traffic your website receives, the bigger the demand on your server. This can lead to a slump in server response speeds. 

You might also find that installing an SSL certificate to your site before moving to a secure HTTPS protocol helps to speed things up, too. 

Don’t forget to make sure that any image you add to your website isn’t too large as well. Oversized images are one of the main things that slow a website down, so you’ll want to use an image compressor tool to keep your pics on the small side. 

Put the User Experience First

Customers who visit your website expect a seamless web experience. They expect to be able to get what they want with ease. From exploring your website to making a purchase, everything must be convenient and hassle-free. 

As such, you need to make your mobile website as usable as possible. 

This means taking care of the little things, such as enlarging your font for smaller mobile screens. It means removing any unnecessary information from the screen and understanding who your target audience is and what they expect to see on your site. 

It also means making sure your buttons aren’t too close together. Because mobile screens are much smaller than desktop screens, it can be really easy for a user to tap the wrong button if it’s too close to another one. And this can be a real pain. It’s the same with outbound links – don’t include two links super close together. If the user hits the wrong one by mistake, it can cause frustration. 

Make Your Website Adjust to the Users Device

A responsive framework is key. If you’ve got a responsive framework, your whole website adjusts according to the device it’s being displayed on. This means the user experience improves, and your website doesn’t look like a jumbled mess. 

Designing a responsive website used to be tricky, but it’s now easier than ever. You can use a tool like Bootstrap to help you optimize your design for mobile devices, and it will also employ a grid-based content structure to make the user experience even better. 

The best thing is that, when you use a tool like Bootstrap, there’s hardly any work you have to do. Once you’re up and running, the framework enhances your design automatically for mobile screens. 

Add a Multiple Payment Gateways

Intriguingly, mobile conversion rates are pretty low in the retail sector. According to the data, mobile devices are mostly used for browsing products and carrying out research, while desktop remains the preferred device when it comes to making a purchase. 

Not just this, but there’s evidence that your customers are researching online and buying offline. For this reason, it’s a good idea to add a POS card reader to the mobile version of your website, as it will help to bridge the gap between online and offline sales. 

Add Your Logo

An important element of the mobile experience is your branding. Customers stay loyal to brands they know and trust, which is why it’s important that you nail all aspects of your branding. 

It all starts with your logo, but the thing about your logo is that, as well as reinforcing your brand, it should also be a clickable element on your website that links back to your homepage. This improves navigation and the user experience. 

Be careful where you place your logo. Research has shown that placing it at the centre of your page can have a disastrous effect on the user experience, as it makes it harder for them to ‘start over’ on your website. Instead, findings of the research suggest that placing your logo at the top left of your mobile screen improves the user experience. 

And if you don’t have a logo yet, you can use a tool like Hatchful to create one in just a few minutes. 

Perform A/B Tests

If you want the mobile version of your website to perform as well as it should do, you need to perform A/B tests to see what’s working and what isn’t. 

As we know, mobile users behave differently to desktop users, and it’s really important that you know what elements on your page are making them tick, and which elements are turning them away. 

Here are a few things you can test on your mobile website: 

  • Your headlines – A headline can make or break you. A good headline can keep a user on the page for longer, while a bad one can put them off instantly. Test different versions of your headlines to see which work best.
  • Your call to action – What type of call to action performs best on mobile devices? Is it a button, an image or a text link? As well as testing the type of call to action that works better than others, try different phrases and colors, too. The position of your CTA matters as well. Should it be in the middle or at the bottom? Or perhaps it should be a ‘sticky’ CTA that follows the user around as they scroll up and down?
  • Font size – As mentioned earlier, you’ll want to increase the size of your font for the mobile experience. But how big should you go? And what typeface should you use? Test different versions and see what effect they have on your click-through rates and conversion rates.
  • Images – Images aren’t as important to test as the above elements. But if you’ve tested all of them and still aren’t getting the response rate you wanted, try experimenting with your images. This should include the type of image, as well as its size.


Use these tips to design your website for the mobile experience. Then, keep checking your analytics to make sure you constantly do the right things. Once the mobile version of your website is up and running, it’s important that you keep giving your customers more of what they want. As tastes change and technologies evolve, you’ll want to stay one step ahead of the curve.

Featured image by Geralt on Pixabay