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How Mobile Web Design Differs From Its Traditional Counterpart

It is official, mobile has taken over the internet. The majority of all website visitors now come from users on mobile devices. In fact, for many industries, about three-quarters of all users would have accessed your website from a mobile device.

A new challenge has thus arisen for older websites that were not built for mobile users. Not only are the visuals and user behaviour remarkedly different on mobile, but so are the accompanying user behaviours. This calls for a re-examination of what makes a great website for both mobile and desktop.

The Arrival of Mobile First Indexing

Since the middle of 2019, Google, a global search engine, has edited its search algorithm to perform mobile first indexing. What this means is that your search engine results page (SERP) will now be ranked primarily based on the results from Google’s mobile indexing bot. As such, even in the event that you have a high performing website on desktop, if the mobile version is not optimised, then you can expect less than ideal search result rankings.

The Differences Between Mobile & Desktop

Content Presentation

Due to the dimensions of the desktop screen, websites were previously design in landscape proportions. Many elements were placed side by side while white space could easily be fitted in. However, mobile devices posed a challenge to this norm in that they have smaller screen sizes and have vertical screens. Two possibilities emerged from this:

  • Firstly, websites which were entirely non mobile responsive suffered the most. Given the shorted width of mobile screens, many website elements were cut off at the edge or forced users to slowly scroll horizontally back and forth to view the content. This created a very frustrating experience for users on your website, leading to high bounce rates and the loss of potential leads.
  • Alternatively, for websites that were mobile responsive but not designed for mobile, drastic changes occurred when switching from desktop to mobile platforms. For content that expanded beyond the width of the screen, partial sections were pushed down into the vertical format. Since these pieces of content were designed to be placed side by side, the mobile version often confused users. This was particularly so when segments failed to automatically sequence themselves in a flow that the user was intended to view them in.

Scrolling Behaviour

Another crucial aspect that changed with the coming of mobile was scroll behaviour. Traditional web design dictated that web designers place the most important content above the fold, cramping as much content as possible in the first screen. This was based on the knowledge that users did not always scroll or might miss out on content below the fold.

However, the intuitive nature of scrolling that came about from both mobile viewing experiences and social media platforms have completely changed this dynamic. Users are now highly inclined scroll, in fact their impatience has grown leading to them scrolling down a page even before the first screen loads finish.

Hence, web designers now design content to be in vertical format with the knowledge that users will quickly scroll down to find the content that is relevant to their search query.

Engaging The Right Web Design Agency For Your Website

It is important that you engage the right web design Singapore agency for your business. In this case, the agency should be well verse with mobile friendly web design and possess knowledge of how users will interact with the website on mobile.