When It Comes to Drupal Website Design, Thinking Mobile First is an Ecommerce Must

Posted By Shane Sevo on Thursday, June 30, 2016 - 14:21

When it comes to reaching out to customers, mobile is where it's at. The overall e-commerce segment of the retail industry is growing at an impressive 13 percent (in an economy in which most markets are struggling to achieve 2-percent gains). But mobile commerce, by comparison, is growing by a mind-boggling 300 percent, with no end in sight. So, if your e-commerce biz isn't thinking mobile, you're thinking wrong. Many businesses approach mobile commerce as just a mini version of the desktop experience. Take your website, trim off everything that won't fit on a mobile screen, and BAM! You've got a mobile Drupal website design, ready for the world to see. Oops ...

Why Mobile Can't Just be the Desktop Experience Revisited

Drupal website design must be mobile first
How disappointed your users are when they log off their work PC for the day and pop over to their smartphone to continue reading about your fabulous new line of widgets while they queue up last night's episode of Game of Thrones -- only to find that 90% of the great stuff they saw on the big screen isn't visible on their iPhone. Frowny face.

As important as mobile commerce is, it pays to do it right. Poorly architected responsive web design experiences just don't have what it takes to build a strong, cohesive brand image and to position your products in a way that those mobile users (and all those dollar signs) can relate to. So, instead of simply adding a responsive experience to your desktop site, tacking on a mobile app for good measure, and calling it a day -- rethink your Drupal website design from the ground up, putting mobile first.

From there, you can develop a better design for your mobile users. This will also benefit your desktop (laptop, notebook, etc.) users, because it will be more simple, straightforward, and easy to use and navigate. You may choose to develop a mobile app in addition to designing your website to support mobile users, but a website isn't a mobile app. It's a consumer experience that includes a smart mix of excellent content, displayed in an easy-to-scroll format, with smart menus and strong CTAs (calls to action). In other words, it's a brilliantly designed website that happens to perform extraordinarily well on mobile devices, and also presents users with larger screens (and those keyboard-mouse combos) with a usable, useful, practical, and enjoyable website experience, as well.

How to Build & Deliver a Stellar Mobile Experience with Your Drupal Website Design

Drupal website developers and designers
As it happens, what makes for an excellent mobile experience also improves your desktop experience, because it's simpler, streamlined, and efficient for finding the important stuff, like your list of Top 10 Ways to Wrangle Widgets and the blog post on Gidget's Favorite Widget. So convenient and accessible.

What should your Drupal website design team focus on to build that ground-up mobile experience?

  • Build a strong brand identity. How does your logo look on mobile? How do your colors come across on a smaller screen? How does a touchscreen in sunlight show up with the colors and fonts you're using? If you're an Android user, go play with your friend's iPhone for awhile. Learn what different users expect from their platforms. Develop an experience that plays well no matter what size screen you're using or which interface you have (touchscreen versus the keyboard-mouse configuration). Hint: this is only achieved through elegant simplicity.

  • Develop a scroll-friendly website. This will eliminate the temptation you have to cram everything, including the kitchen sink, into your homepage. Back when print journalism was a thing [insert favorite dinosaur joke here], journalists used what was called the "inverted pyramid". This is a technique in which the important info goes first, followed by that of the next greatest importance, and so on. The inverted pyramid technique allowed editors to cut (back then, it was done by hand, using an Exacto knife) the article to fit the newspaper or magazine, without having to rewrite the article. This is an excellent means for presenting mobile content, because the user can simply scroll as far as they like, get what they want, and quit at any point. You've assured that they got the important stuff up top.

  • Use the art of the CTA. What do you want your mobile users to do? More importantly, what do they want to do? Make this as clear and easy to find as possible. It improves user experience, because they can get what they're looking for and get on to their other important mobile activities, like avoiding calls from Mom and wasting another two hours on Words With Friends. It also makes your job simpler, because your users convert before bowing out. A rare win-win situation, indeed.

Unsure how to navigate the world of Drupal website design for mobile users? Never fear! Contact us for the website design help, advice, and savvy you need.

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