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Mobility: Is your site mobile-friendly?

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in Office Technology,Web Tools

More and more people are accessing internet-based information from their smartphones and other small-screen devices. How does your site look on those platforms? If you haven’t already, you should add this step to testing website modifications before going live with them. Mobile websites dynamically size to accommodate a smaller screen and different interactivity motions—swipe vs. type, if you will.

Learn these 7 tools, terms and tips to make sure your site visitors get a great experience no matter what type of device they’re using.

1. Suggest that your web designer use “media queries.” These bits of code will determine what type of device is being used to display your site and make the associated adjustments in how it is shown.

2. When choosing themes to use for your website in site-building tools like WordPress, choose one that is responsive. The ability to detect the device is more or less built into the theme itself.

3. Where possible, avoid fixing widths of images to a number of pixels. Use percentage of screen width specs instead. For example, 100% of the screen, in most cases.

4. Speaking of images, use the smallest possible size image. Obviously, you want the image to be clear, but see how low you can go before you lose that clarity. Go back up a notch and use that size. Faster-loading graphics work much better in the environments most mobile devices are functioning in.

5. Hopefully you’re no longer using Flash elements on your site. If you are, use this opportunity of making your site more mobile-friendly to move away from Flash. Most mobile devices do not, and will not ever, support Flash.

6. KISS—above all, keep it simple, sweetheart! Fonts, buttons and links should all be kept as simple and standard as possible. Pretty isn’t so great if your site doesn’t work.

7. See where you are with things. Visit https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly, and see what Google’s analysis tells you. This analysis will give you information like: Clickable elements too close together or Content is wider than the screen. Also try https://ready.mobi.

Remember that websites are no longer “set it and forget it” efforts. Work with key members of your staff, preferably with multiple types of devices (iPhone, Android, iPad, Chromebook, Surface), and see what it looks like to a typical end-user. Sometimes, techies don’t see things the way your customers might. The difference between a potential customer staying on your site and leaving it is how easy it is to use on whatever device they happen to be working on at that moment.

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