Redesigning Your Business Site for the Mobile Era

Mobile-first design explained

Mobile-First Web Design Explained

Smartphone Users Now Dominate

Google’s latest update reflects a changing digital world, a world that has quickly become dominated by smartphone use. Take a look at this graphic as an example of how quickly the landscape is shifting from desktop/laptop use to smartphone & tablets:

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What this means for your business, is that if your website doesn’t provide an excellent user experience on a smartphone sized screen, you are losing business to a competitor who’s website does.

Fortunately, the solution has been in development for a while now and it’s called “Mobile-First Design”.

Mobile-first design is the complete opposite approach from the way web design was practiced when I started back in 1998. Back then the goal was a rich user experience, with maximum bells and whistles, with lots of Flash animation and wow-factor. The trend in those days was larger and larger screens, with visually impressive graphics intended to make good use of all those pixels.

Those days are long gone.

How Does Mobile-First Web Design Work?

Mobile-first design starts with a concept that will allow for an easy and engaging user experience (UX) on a small mobile screen. Graphics are minimal, images shrunk down. Menus are abbreviated and text should appear at a size that is easy to read and uncluttered.

From here, through something in the code called ‘media queries’, multiple versions of your website are all present in your code, one for mobile, one for tablets, one for laptops and lastly one for huge screens. Though it’s true that you can add back in those bells and whistles in the versions designed for larger screen sizes, you can see from the above traffic trends that your ROI for that effort is diminishing, since most of your visits now will come from smaller screen sizes.

Here’s a graphic showing how a website layout is re-arranged by the code to display differently based on screen size:

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As you can see the elements change size and position, in order to best populate various screen sizes. These adjustments tailor the UX for each screen size, automatically, once the website code detects what platform a user is viewing the site from.

 

Using Social Media to Promote Your Seattle Business

What Can You Do With Social Media?

When I co-founded my former political activist organization, armed with a budget of zero and my own sweat equity, I never would have guessed that we would eventually be able to create so much buzz that our talking points were mentioned in presidential debates- but that’s exactly what happened.

Affordable Tools, Powerful Results

Using nothing more than a WordPress website, Mailchimp newsletter, Facebook page & Twitter account, our brand expanded from 0 to 35 state chapters with 5 dozen volunteer coordinators in under three years.  We used our social media presence to partner with other organizations and fund an events tour, selling out events in a dozen cities during the course of 18 months.

Your business can just as easily use these tools and I can show you how we did it.

Social Media Marketing is a tool available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection- or even just a local public library. The techniques are simple enough for anyone to perform, though they do require time and consistency. Technical skills are not as important as understanding your customer base and what makes people tick in general.

Business is About People

The best business plan in the world won’t be effective without understanding the people who will be buying what you sell. Many successful business owners possess this trait- but far too few utilize the marketing tools available to them. For example, MOST businesses we talk to don’t yet have a website that works well on a smartphone. This is critical because for the first time, more than half of your target demographic will view your website on a smartphone.

Related: Read Why Mobile-first Design Matters So Much More in 2015

Another common area with room for major growth is a business’s online presence. While it’s true that in most cases Facebook pages, twitter and other social media sites won’t convert for you directly, they are as important to your branding as your logo and other marketing materials. Social media channels sell by creating trust and a sense of integrity. Your expertise can be demonstrated to potential customers by the hundreds, just from spending 15-30 minutes a day getting your content out there.

Call us today for a no-cost conversation about your social media properties (or lack thereof) and how they can help convert more sales.