Simplicity, ease of navigation key for mobile sites
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today, February 25, 2013
LAS VEGAS - Ron Gordon, vice president of technology for industry website developer and technology company MicroD, walked Las Vegas Market attendees through the keys to making their websites more appealing and useful for smartphone users.
Here is a sampling of Gordon's advice:
► Give smartphone users options they can use. The popular function that lets users see drop-down menus from a Web page when they hover over a tab with a mouse doesn't work with smartphones, he said. So give smartphone users a better option: When they touch a tab word, it should open another Web page that features the same drop-down menu.
► Avoid Java and Flash. Gordon says they don't work on smartphones.
► Keep mobile homepages simple. On the mobile version of your home page, offer just a few "finger friendly" choices users can see and touch for additional direction and information. He showed the clean layout for the mobile version of Itasca, Ill.-based Walter E. Smithe's website, featuring the retailer's name, a search bar and four quick options to touch for more information: "Store promotions," "Email us," "Call us," and "Store locations." But also provide a "View full site" link for those wanting more, even on a small screen.
► Avoid large photos. When it comes to mobile-accessed Web pages, consumers want information above all else, Gordon said. Large images are slow to load, take up valuable real estate and eat up consumers' data resources. Save the nice photo for the product information page.
► A mobile-friendly product information page is critical. Consider including features such as other fabric choices that consumers can see digitally draped on the very frame they're sitting on in your store.
► Reduce data entry. It takes too long to punch in a lot of information on a smartphone, and the consumer is bound to lose patience or interest. Stick to basic information, including name, email, password and possibly a phone number. "Don't put your user through a gauntlet by requiring them to fill out long forms," Gordon said.
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