With billions of smartphone users worldwide, it’s no longer a question of whether or not you should optimize your web design for various mobile devices. The most important question is how to do it properly. Content and web layout are two essential elements of web page design. Web designers should put a strong focus on creating a content-focused experience for all types of visitors, no matter which device they use to access the website.
Content plays a vital role in every web experience. People visit websites for content, so it’s important to optimize content for quick findability. Information architecture is a discipline that helps web specialists organize content in ways that are aligned with users’ mental models. Designers should use card sorting and tree testing, for example, to ensure that a sitemap–a skeleton of a website’s information architecture–responds well to a user’s behavior. All individual pages on a website should have a decent visual hierarchy so that visitors can quickly find essential information at a glance.
When it comes to web design, it’s essential to understand that web pages are scanned, not read. That’s why the most important elements of a web page should have more visual weight to naturally attract a visitor’s attention. Eye-tracking technologies–heatmaps, focus maps, and gaze point plots–can help designers identify the areas of a site that capture the most attention.
Optimization for various types of devices and resolutions plays a fundamental role in modern website design. Web page layouts should be genuinely responsive and not rely on any fixed-size elements. Web designers using fluid grids and flexible images will guarantee that a web page will render well on a variety of devices, windows, and screen sizes. All pages should be optimized for fast loading and mobile users shouldn’t face slow loading times caused by non-optimized web assets.
Last but not least, content layout should be optimized for each type of device (e.g., users on mobile devices should be able to clearly see the most important content right after a page loads). Read on for more insights and best practices for effective web design and stay up-to-date on the latest developments in UX design knowledge.