By Alyssa Mahlberg,
In the past week I've designed two mobile websites for two of our great essentials clients, Terry Bertram with Legacy Law Center and Richard Hughes with The Hughes Law Firm. As I've prepared for and worked on the design for these two projects, I thought I'd note some of the important differences between website design and mobile website design.
A mobile website is not an app that is downloaded and saved to the phone, with specific functions that the user would need or want to use more than once. And yes, your website will show up on a mobile phone or device without having a specially designed mobile website.
So why is having a mobile website important? For two main reasons:
- Mobile is mainstream. Over half of all local searches are performed on a mobile device. The number of people using mobile devices and creating business for companies who have well-designed mobile websites is just too large to ignore.
- Design. 61% of mobile users who visit a mobile unfriendly site will click away immediately and go to a competitor's site. This is where you specially designed mobile website comes in. Once the mobile user finds you, you have to a have a good, user-friendly mobile web design to keep them there.
So, now that you have your beautiful, information-rich and technology-forward IMS law firm website, why won't this same website be ideal for mobile users? Because of a few design considerations that make specially designed mobile websites the user-friendly solutions:
- Layout. When designing for your IMS web site, we consider the dimensions of your average computer monitor or laptop screen, so it is easy to see why this doesn't translate well to the screens of most mobile devices. When pulling up a regular desktop site on a mobile phone, the result will either be way to small, requiring the user to zoom in and possible click on tiny links by accident, or have to do excessive scrolling both vertically and horizontally. The best mobile websites (and all IMS mobile websites) are designed to be readable without zooming, and scroll only vertically.
- Simplicity Your desktop website is filled with tons of information, easily accessible to the user... if they are on a desktop computer or laptop. On a mobile device, all this information can overcomplicate the website navigation and confuse the user, while most mobile users are looking for simple a phone number, email address or directions to your office. When designing a mobile website, we sift through all the excess information and strip down to the essential pieces of info that the users are likely to be looking for. This simplifies the mobile navigation and is less likely to confuse those who stumble upon your site on their mobile device.
- "Tap-ability." Desktop websites are designed with the mouse or trackpad in mind, on mobile devices, users are usually navigating with their fingers on a touch screen phone. Good mobile websites have a navigation and buttons that are large and finger-friendly. Our mobile websites also come with useful buttons that allow users to save contact info to their phone, call the office with just a tap, or send directions to their mobile map application.
To learn more about getting an IMS mobile website designed for your law firm, contact James at 1-877-352-2021 ext. 0.