How to Approach Mobile Content

With the mobile web still on the rise, and with many sites seeing a large share of mobile users, we must start to think about how to gear our content on our pages to the mobile visitors.

It is still pretty common to see a desktop-first approach to content on a website. It seems most of the optimization for mobile is being focused on design and user interface when I observe projects in action.

There is another consideration though, and that is content. Is your content good for mobile users? To find out, we must take a look at the type of content that will be useful for mobile visitors.

Scan-ability

This is important for any type of web copy, but becomes even more important for mobile users. Long paragraphs will look really long when narrowed down in a responsive design on a mobile device. To combat this, consider breaking mobile content up into smaller chunks and doing things to differentiate sections of content or to call out important points.

Think of how you personally use mobile pages. When I think of myself using a mobile page, I think of how I usually read the headline, then the first part of the article, then my thumb gets to flicking and it might not slow down if the article doesn’t keep my interest or catch my eye. If a user is flicking through your pages, what do you have at the middle or bottom of a page to get their attention and slow them down?

Concise Headlines

Longer headlines can be fine on larger screens, but on mobile, screen space is at a premium. A long headline can look awkward on a mobile device if it has to wrap several lines. Shorter headlines will not cause these types of wrapping issues and will cater to the short attention span of mobile users.

Summarize the Page Content

It might not be a bad idea to provide users with a short summary of the article at the top, outlining key points, especially if the article is long or complex. This can help get your point across to mobile users that don’t have any interest in scrolling and reading a long article on their mobile device. In this summary could even be a good spot to include a call-to-action for mobile users.

Media & Images

Sometimes an image that looks great on the full screen version of the website will not have the same impact on smaller screens or might even lose context if users can’t see the necessary details in a smaller version of the image. The best way to approach media such as images, video and audio on mobile is rethink how each piece of media adds to the user experience for mobile users.

It might make sense to create different set of images that will be more useful or have better context for the user who will be looking at your content on a small, narrow screen. Or consider whether or not certain media is even suitable for the mobile user. Things that use a lot of bandwidth or add flair without substance might be worth replacing or putting on the chopping block for the mobile users.

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