Did you stand in line in hopes of purchasing a new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus this past weekend? If you did, you were not alone! According to a New York Times article, Apple announced that it sold over 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices over the first weekend they were available in stores. 10 million! That’s a record-breaking number.
Whether or not you’re an Apple fan, the announcement of the iPhone 6 with a larger screen than ever indicated that all major mobile device manufacturers are now on board with the large screen trend. Reports show that mobile browsing on phones with 4” screens or smaller is already on the decline.
Time to “Design for Thumbs”
With larger screen sizes gaining popularity, it’s becoming even more important to “design for thumbs” – meaning that websites need to be built so that the most important items are within the thumb’s natural reach when holding the device.
Experts have conducted studies to determine how most people hold their phones while using them and then have created “heat maps” to show the areas where thumbs can naturally navigate items, areas where navigation is possible but a stretch, and areas that are difficult or impossible to reach quickly and easily. Take a look at the image below* for an example of the different zones on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus screens.
See how the larger the screen is, the more "ow," or hard-to-reach space there is? The same basic principle applies to any phone, regardless of maker. To make your website as pain-free for your viewers as possible, and to maximize the number of clicks your "call to action" items receive, make sure these buttons are placed in the "natural" or at least in the "stretch" zone of the screen.
Put Your Website to the Test
Take a minute and pull up your firm’s website on a smartphone.
The first question to ask yourself is – “Is it responsive?”
Does your website respond and adapt to the screen it’s on for optimal viewing? Or do you have a separate mobile site, leaving viewers with less information than your full website? Or do you find yourself pinching and zooming in on the screen because your site isn’t optimized for mobile at all? If your site is responsive, congratulations! You’re off to a good start. If not, contact your IMS marketing team to learn how to optimize your website for mobile viewing.
Next question to ask – “Can I easily reach the most important items on the page?”
Think about things like the navigation icon, buttons and your phone number. Are they all easily accessible? If so – great! Anytime you come across a device with a larger screen, give it another test. If your website has some important information in hard-to-reach areas, contact your IMS marketing team. Together we’ll come up with a solution that will make sure your website is fully optimized for as many devices as possible.
*image provided by Scott Hurff
Source: The blog of Scott Hurff, (September 17, 2014). “How to design for thumbs in the Era of Huge Screens”