“Hang on Chris”, I hear you saying, “Lots of people look at my website on a mobile, but let’s not get carried away”. Bear with me though. Even if mobile only represents 10% of your visitors, and extrapolation suggests it won’t reach 50% for many years, there’s another good reason why your next website should be designed for mobile phones.
It’s to do with expectation and simplicity.
What many website owners have done over the past few years is to redesign things to be ‘responsive’, so the sites reformat themselves to read nicely when viewed on a mobile phone. That means everything collapses into a single column, the text is large, and there are big panels on which to click with your finger.
Here’s the thing, though. The majority of your customers might not be researching and buying engineering products on their mobile phones. But most are now spending more ‘web time’ on their phones than they are on their desktop PCs. Nearly all of us are. So we may be viewing more mobile-style websites than we are desktop-style ones. And it seems that we prefer the simplicity of a ‘mobile site’.
Research has shown that different demographics have different ideas of what’s ‘aesthetically pleasing’. However, there’s nothing which appeals universally – except simplicity. The more visually complex a website is, the lower its visual appeal.
Smarter website designers are starting to visualise sites in a mobile layout first. Once they’ve got an idea of where things are going, then they’re looking at how the site could expand on a desktop PC browser to take advantage of the extra space. It’s a reversal of the traditional sequence, but one which makes a lot of sense.
If you want to read more, the best article I’ve read on the subject of simplicity in website design is Why “Simple” Websites Are Scientifically Better on ConversionXL.