Why Your Business Should Go Mobile with 8 Tips
Waiting for the subway. Procrastinating at work. Going to the bathroom. Relaxing on the couch. Sitting on a bench at the park.
What do all these events have in common? You’re on your phone for all of them.
It’s 2016, and people live their lives through the screen on their smartphone. Everything from social interactions to business transactions take place in the palm of your hand. The world now runs through mobile devices, which means your business should as well.
If your business hasn’t made the transition to mobile, then now is definitely the time to do it. Here are eight tips for helping your business go mobile:
1. Serve Your Customers
Simply having an app or mobile website isn’t beneficial for your business if it isn’t useful to your customers. Make sure you focus on your customer’s needs when designing your new mobile platform.
Why do customers visit your website or call your business? Do they want to set up a reservation? Do they need a quote for a project? Maybe they want to be informed? Figure out the reason people visit your company’s website and feature that on your mobile platform.
For example, restaurants could provide the ability to make a reservation at the top of their home page. Just be sure it’s clear and easy to use. If it’s not, your customer may get frustrated and go elsewhere.
Make sure you keep the customer in mind when you make your business go mobile.
2. Responsive Website Design
There’s nothing worse than going to a website on a tablet, only to find it’s really small because it’s designed for a phone. This problem will turn away customers because your design isn’t aesthetically appealing.
You don’t know which device your users will be using to access your website, so your company’s mobile website should have a responsive design that changes size based on the device being used. If someone is viewing your website on a tablet, the site’s size and orientation will automatically adjust based on the user’s screen. If the user in on their phone, then your website will shrink and be just as readable.
Your website should be able to function on any device. A responsive website design is the best way to accomplish this.
3. Create an App
Apps dominate the mobile landscape. There are apps for games, social media, online shopping and much more. It’s possible your company might need an app instead of a responsive website.
An app can be your company’s hub to make orders, provide content, create a community and become more in touch with your audience. Having an app will entice more users to interact with your company, because the icon on their phone will act as a constant reminder. Your business will always be in the back of their mind.
You also have more freedom of designing an app than you do with a website. Apps can be a creative way for your business to truly connect with customers.
4. Outsource the App Development and Maintenance
Don’t worry about learning code or different design styles. Instead, outsource the job of designing your app and leave it up to the experts.
In fact, making an app is easier than ever. There are many companies that can easily create a basic app that gives you every feature you need. However, the best route might be to find a freelance designer on a site like Upwork and hire them to design an app that’s best for your company.
Maintaining your app is simple as well. There are companies that will test your app for bugs and fix them for you. You only have to pay for the bugs that were found and fixed.
By outsourcing the job of app or website creation, you’re making sure you have the best finished product. It also gives you more time to focus on your business.
5. Embrace the Mobile World
Going mobile doesn’t mean you can just create a website, publish it and then completely forget about the Internet. Your business has to be completely active in the mobile realm. This means being active on social media and continually interacting with customers.
Create social media accounts so your business can interact with customers. You can also update your audience on any news about your business.
Also, becoming mobile means you should be more available. Users can visit your website at any time within a split second, so you should be able to respond instantly at any time. Have an instant messaging option for your customer support page. Your business can’t truly go mobile if it ignores the other mobile platforms and features available to it.
6. Advertise Your New Platform
Some companies use apps or innovative web designs as a way to attract new customers. In a way, your app is a marketing attribute. However, your app or mobile site can do much more than get new eyes on your business. It can be an extension of your business’ service.
Advertise your new platform to your existing customers. Put up posters in your store or send a mass email to anyone who has made a purchase. Your mobile platform can become an integral part of your customers’ lives. It can create brand loyalty because your app is always there for your customers. Make sure people know about your business going mobile.
7. Simple Is Better
Simplicity is key for any design. If blocks of text are popping up, and letters are scrolling by in bright, flashing colors, then all you’re doing is distracting your user from the purpose of your website or app.
Your mobile website or app should be as simple as possible — plain colors, easy-to-read fonts and no movement. The user isn’t interested in your company because you know how to code a text box that flashes a yellow color. Your users want to learn more about your business or take part in a transaction. Make this easier for them by having a simple platform.
8. Focus on Usability
The most important aspect of your new mobile platform is that people can actually use it. When creating this platform, make sure you focus on usability.
The key to successful usability is easy navigation. The user should be able to find the information they want to find. This is why it’s important to understand your audience and know what they’re looking for. That way, you can feature this information and make it easy for your customers. You should also make sure your website runs smoothly and quickly.
Test different pages and get feedback from your users. Find out what they like, what they don’t like and how they feel your website can be improved. Look for problems they might come across when using your website or app. Then do everything you can to fix these problems and make sure visitors have no issues with using your platform.
Time to Get Mobile
Now is the best time for your business to go mobile. Make it a reality so your business can reap the benefits.
Lexie Lu is a freelance UX designer and blogger. She enjoys researching the latest design trends and always has a cup of coffee nearby. She manages Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.