5 things you need to know before developing mobile applications
Invonto Preps for Mobilegeddon
As you may or may not know, Google recently released a full overhaul of it’s search algorithm, and it’s going to make life quite difficult for tons of sites in the beginning. The difficulty mostly lies within websites having to update the way their site looks and functions on mobile devices or risk having their ranking on Google lowered. Some say it’s going to be total mobilegeddon..
This change is mostly to downgrade the pagerank of non mobile-friendly sites because such a large portion of web traffic is derived from mobile devices. Many sites look great on large screen displays but look very different and are hardly functional on mobile devices. For example, while text looks great on your iMac, that same text is too small to read on your iPhone. Also, inconsistent links are an issue, like when they aren’t opening properly on a small screen when clicked with your fingertip. Google stated it’s algorithms needed to adapt to increased mobile usage patterns. Have a look at the example below of a site that isn’t mobile friendly.
Desktop (Levi’s site)
Mobile (Levi’s site)
Notice: The content does not shift for screen size and text & images are cut off, requiring scrolling. This site currently remains the same regardless of the screen size being used.
Invonto is ahead of the Mobilegeddon curve and we’ve implemented vital changes to make certain our website is mobile friendly. As it turns out, Google updates if algorithm often, however sweeping categorical changes like this are actually quite rare. Thankfully, Google released a guide for updating websites to be mobile friendly ahead of time. This was a vital warning for sites that find it integral to be ranked highly by Google.
Invonto website (Desktop)
You can easily test how friendly (or unfriendly) your website is or any website using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. I was suprised how many sites didn’t make the grade! Fortunately, we are pleased that we’re rated awesome & very mobile-friendly using this test! Some of the reasons we have been able to achieve a mobile-friendly version of our site is because of we take a mobile-first approach to our web-design process.
Invonto website (Mobile)
Yes, that term is clichéd and played out, but despite its ubiquity, its impact can’t denied. By taking a mobile-first approach, we optimize content and layout for mobile devices first then translate that to tablet and desktop before writing a single line of code.
A simple example: look at the layout of this page (yes, the one you are currently reading). If you are on the web, scale down the width of your browser. Notice how the fonts change sizes to adapt to the screen size. This change is obvious. However, what’s just as important as font sizes adjusting to your screen is the width of the rows that the text is in. For optimal readability for the user, the width of the row should have around 45-75 characters across. If you start getting well beyond that limit, then it starts to become uncomfortable for your users. Stephen Scaff over at Urban Influence writes a great piece on this.
This mobile-first approach ensures that the user’s experience is always the primary consideration during development. And at the end of the day, no matter if you have an eCommerce site, a lead-gen site, or even a blog, logical ease of use for the user should always be the most important factor in building a website (or any product for that matter) – Google’s new algorithm change is just the latest (and biggest) piece of evidence to back up this claim.
So, where does your site stand in the middle of all this chaos? If you are Google certified awesome, then welcome to the club, you’re in good company. If you are still lagging behind, fear not, Google repeatedly crawls your website again and again so when you make the conversion to mobile, they will factor in your new changes into their algorithm.