People today are constantly bombarded with different kinds of information online. While technology gives opportunities for companies to widen their reach and attract more consumers, it has also shortened the attention span of many people as they are bombarded with a variety of information every day online. Because of this, businesses need to work harder than ever to maintain their audience.
One way of capturing your audience’s attention is by creating a website where users can effectively formulate their first impressions of your company. A good web design is not just about aesthetics, but also about how information is arranged coherently in a given space. People are less likely to visit or interact with a website that is poorly laid out. Having a muddled web design can compel users to leave your website, while a structured one can attract their interest and urge them to stay.
Why mobile optimization is the solution
Recent studies have shown that a person’s attention span has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds when technological devices such as smartphones were introduced to the world. Aside from this, an average user visits a website for about 10-20 seconds only as people become more preoccupied since the human brain can only take in a limited amount of information. It is challenging for companies to market their businesses online to an audience who can barely finish an article. This highlights the importance of designing a simple yet engaging website to retain your audience’s attention—in short, you must design with mobile in mind.
It is also imperative that your platform includes meaningful and relatable content that can attract a customer’s interest and aspiration while being consistent with your brand’s mission and identity. These can be presented through simple but engaging visual designs on your website.
Some criteria when designing for a mobile-friendly site
Before anything else, it is important to have a clear vision of your brand’s purpose as it will be the driving-force of your website’s overall design. A brand’s visual aesthetics and purpose is like peanut butter and jelly; they have to be harmonized as a way of keeping up a consistent and effective branding. It is best to know what content you will work around with before having an ideal vision of how you want to project your brand to the audience.
After deciding on a fixated brand purpose, the next step of designing a website is to create a simple yet engaging design. Scientific studies have shown that people prefer a simply-constructed website rather than a complicated one. The human brain is wired to create perceptions through prototypes or visual imagery that represent common items. Every person has a prototype of how websites from different categories appear and once a website interface does not match their prototype, a person’s mind can consciously or unconsciously reject it. These prototypes include color, typography, imagery, and the overall layout.
Color plays a big role in a website’s imagery since it expresses the meaning behind the brand as well as attracts the viewer’s attention. It takes time to distinguish good color combinations from the bad ones. Using two to three colors is already enough to support the other elements of your web page. It also evokes the user’s feelings and feel of the brand such as how warm colors represent joy while cool colors represent tranquility.
Typography is another vital aspect of web design because words are the majority content of a website. A typeface can make or break a website depending on how suitable it is to the reader’s eyes and the branding. You must be knowledgeable in pairing typefaces and arranging them hierarchically. A simple yet coherent example is The New York Times website. The title used is called Chompsky regular, a serif typeface while the body text is a combination of sans serif and serif, utilizing different fonts and sizes to emphasize hierarchy.
Imagery guides the user to have a deeper understanding of the brand as it supports the meaning behind the text presented in an article. People have a better capacity of absorbing visual information since 90% of this information is transmitted to the brain visually and is processed 60,000 times faster than plain text. Newsletter blogs such as Philippine Star and Manila Bulletin use many images to back-up their articles since it makes them more interesting.
The overall layout mends the three aforementioned aspects. It requires meticulous visual design to piece all these elements to create a cohesive and clean website. Take note that a web design is different in every platform. Web design for a tablet or laptop screen may not be suitable for a mobile device so it is best to be knowledgeable about the difference between web layout of a mobile and tablet. Make sure that your website has enough negative space as a way of making it “eye-friendly”. Cluttered information does not only strain the viewer’s eyes but would also hinder them from absorbing the given information.
In this present day, companies should find ways to chop down loads of information into short and simple pieces of digestible text whether it is for a mobile or tablet device. The good news here is that solutions such as HubSpot's software have emerged to make creating a mobile-friendly site that much easier. For example, the software is capable of automatically shortening forms to make them easier on the eyes for mobile readers.
Overall, there's no excuse these days for neglecting to make a site mobile-friendly. The rewards for making a site accessible and engaging for an audience with an increasingly short-attention span certainly outweighs the risks. Failing to do so isn't just a wasted opportunity, it could also mean your business falling behind.
-Written by Chloe Gaw