Where to start? As more web traffic shifts to mobile, one of the first things to do is make sure your website (and especially your Salsa web and email templates) are optimized for mobile devices.
Start With Responsive Design
Responsive design makes it so that your website adapts to the width of a viewer’s web browser.
Images and graphical elements size up or down according to a smaller or larger screen, so that the site will be easy to use on all devices. In the past, people tended to develop separate mobile-only websites for mobile devices, but that means more headache to update, maintain, and optimize.
For all but the very largest organizations, a well-designed responsive site could make your work a lot easier. You may even consider developing “mobile first”, starting with a focus on your site for mobile, and then building that design out with additional features for desktop views.
Then, Test, Test, Test
During the design process – before launch – test the home page of your website, your donation forms, sign-up forms and other critical pages on phones and tablets to make sure key fields and buttons show up and work as designed. Make sure that people can easily accomplish their tasks via a mobile device without getting frustrated or giving up.
Check to make sure that all of your graphical and navigation elements size down properly and are still readable and usable on smaller screens. Also, be sure that your photos still look good at a smaller size, too.
Don’t forget to check your site on an Android and an iPhone device before launch. There may be quirks specific to one device that you should be aware of. One easy way to do this is to use the device emulator in Chrome — it won’t tell you how your site will look in Firefox or (shudder) Internet Explorer, but it will show you how your site will look in various sizes and types of iOS and Android devices.
Check All of Your Elements
Make sure you’re not using elements in your design that may break instead of resize on smaller devices. For example, you don’t want to use a carousel display on your home page. They aren’t as user-friendly as you might think, so avoiding a carousel is a best practice that will help you on all platforms.
While you’re thinking of these elements, be sure to build your site around a simple navigational structure that’s easy to use for fingers on smaller devices. For instance, if you use a dropdown menu structure, don’t nest menus inside too many submenus. This keeps people from getting where they want to go on mobile.
In addition, your email fonts need to be large enough to be read easily on mobile devices. As the average age of our country increases, this is a kindness to desktop users as well. Nonprofits who tested increasing their default email font size found big improvements in email responses, too!
In general, mobile or not, don’t bury important content under several layers of menus or buttons or other elements. People don’t have a lot of patience, so simplifying and making content easy to access is good for everyone.
People Still Use Email. Really.
Finally, check your Salsa email templates to ensure they work well on mobile devices.
A website that’s great on mobile won’t do you much good if people are turned off before the email even gets them there.
This blog was originally posted on the PowerThru blog.