5 Mobile Website Design Pitfalls To Avoid Like the Plague

on May 2nd, 2016
by Andrew Millar

When it comes to surfing the web, smartphones and tablets nearly dominate and mobile website design becomes more important than ever. Sadly, there are several pitfalls when it comes to designing a mobile site which can ruin its functionality and seriously put the kibosh on your visitors’ experiences.

Mobile Website Design Pitfalls to Avoid Like the Plage

Mobile Website Design Pitfall 1: Trying to Design Linearly

The good ol' days of wireframes and screen shot approvals are slowly, yet surely, falling by the wayside. This can make things tricky for you web designers. We get it. The old, linear process of designing a website was easier for a client to understand. You mocked it up. They took a look. You made a few tweaks to colors and images. It was pretty simple stuff.


Really, that is all there is to say about it. It is just not that simple anymore. Mobile website design is not a linear process. Trying to design it that way is like trying to stick an American plug into a European outlet.  

Mobile Website Design Pitfall 2: Forgetting Mobile Devices Don’t Have a Hover Feature

The hover feature displays additional or alternate information when a visitor hovers their cursor over a specified section of your website. When hover features were first created they changed the ball game on web design. Web pages no longer had to be text heavy to deliver tons of information.

Unfortunately, mobile users don't have a cursor. They can't hover over anything. They either click on something or they don’t. If you have placed vital information within a hover feature, your mobile users will be blind to it.

Mobile Website Design Pitfall 3: Planning Navigation Like a Newspaper

Traditional navigation tends to flow like a newspaper. The most important stuff is at the top. It is presented in quick bites which entices visitors to click for more information. Unfortunately, mobile devices do not give you this kind of white space luxury. 

The screens are small. The options also need to be. A mobile website design which tries to present all of the same information to visitors within the same pages ends up being a cluster and a half.

Mobile Website Design Pitfall 4: Failing to Test, A Lot

Far too many designers create and launch a mobile site without checking how it works on multiple devices. There is a wide variety of smartphones and tablets out there. Most of them have different screen sizes and pixel densities. Your mobile site may look fantastic on an iPad or an iPhone. This does not guarantee it will look even half as stellar on an Android device. If you do not test, you do not know. You will just keep thinking things are hunky dory while your visitors feel like you’re digitally poking them in the eyes.

Mobile Website Design Pitfall 5: Asking Visitors To Fill Out Long Forms

We get it. You want leads. You want your visitors to opt-in to a newsletter, request an e-book or sign up for a free whitepaper by sharing some of their personal contact info.

Unfortunately, most of your mobile visitors are using a keyboard so small it makes babies’ fingers look fat. Texting may be a viable form of communication these days, but texting is a far cry from filling out a long, detailed form.

How can you avoid these pitfalls? Keep an eye out for solutions on our next blog post. 

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