homer_simpsonAccording to a PEW study, more than half of the U.S. population owns a smartphone and are spending on average two hours per day on their device. If you do the math, this is 8% of a person’s day and a huge opportunity for marketers to leverage their brand. In fact, 67% of cellphone owners check their device for messages or calls even when they don’t notice their phone ringing. The obsession has created a new vertical, so read along as we highlight the top mistakes on mobile web and how to improve your presence in this two part series of top mobile mistakes in 2014.

Optional High Density Resolution

high_resMobile devices come in all shapes and sizes, indicating a variety of screen sizes and densities to optimize your mobile application around. Consistent development across all devices that will adjust to different displays will maximize the user experience and leave people feeling that the site was designed specifically for their device. The stretched screen experience, to say the least, is not best practice so controlling the application’s UI to accommodate different screen configurations should be a notable decision in your mobile integration.

Keep in mind that our beautifully sharp, pixelated images come with the cost of a larger size and increased loading time. In addition, consider the fact that mobile connections are slower than desktop connections, so try a case by case approach when optimizing images for mobile devices. High resolution images will decrease loading time, but increase data usage and roaming charges. Mobile users can’t afford to waste their data on slow loading websites anymore.

Think about which images should be high-resolution and which should be a low resolution. Is the extra time really worth the trade off? Is low resolution quality even that noticeable? When in doubt, save your image as vector file or use ultra-high compression to help aid the problems that come with high densities.

Having a Separate Mobile URL

A separate URL for your mobile site can hurt you more than help you. The problem arises with redirection. This occurs when the script on your server detects what type of browser (mobile or desktop) you are using and then redirects to a separate URL with the same content optimized for mobile devices. This can hurt your search engine placement for smartphone search results because the redirect takes time as your script decides which site to direct you towards, hence another reason for long loading speed.

However, don’t fret if common method applies to your site because separate URL’s do provide some benefit that responsive sites are still combating. For instance, separate URL’s allow us to optimize for performance by breaking large files into smaller ones, moreover a page containing multiple UI components can be separated to yield a single component per page. Less content per page provides faster loading times over a slower mobile connection.

Mad About Ads

mad about ads

All you want to do is read the trending Buzzfeed article all your friends are posting, only to be interrupted with a huge advertisement causing two extra taps to get to the content. This provides a transparent example of serving business interest over user interest. Being bombarded with ads really lowers the glamor of a mobile website too, while unintentionally sending the message that you are not confident in the experience of your mobile site. Don’t slam people with ads, but if it’s necessary try a less intrusive method like using iOS Smart App Banners to elegantly market your business.

As we head into 2014, the emerging mobile market will continue to grow as users spend more time on their smart devices. It is expected to generate 35% more revenue or $400 billion by 2015.  Recognizing the common mobile mistakes will improve user experience and provide insight for marketers to re-imagine their strategy to concentrate efforts on the booming market. Our current state of technology addiction has 29% of Americans saying their phone is the first and last thing they look at every day while 57% of users won’t recommend a company with a poor mobile site.

What types of mobile mistakes are worth noting that you see? Standby as we dig in further with part II of the top mobile mistakes.