There is a big difference between browsing a website using a mobile device and browsing it using a desktop. Both differ in screen orientations and when it comes to mobile browsing, thumbs are used rather than a mouse or trackpad plus some tasks can be challenging or complicated. For this reason, it is crucial to design a website that can answer the needs of mobile users as well. The 3 key website components that should be distinct on mobile against desktop are as follows:
Organization of Content
Content organization is among the most complicated aspects of designing a website for mobile use. What mobile users require might be a lot different from the needs of desktop users. On the other hand, they may have similar needs but different browsing behaviors based on the device being used. In designing a website for mobile use, organizing web content should be prioritized to meet the requirements of mobile users. Content has to be arranged vertically to adjust to the narrow widths of mobile devices. A desktop comes with portrait orientations in order for content to stretch across a screen plus usually, several images or messages can comfortably be displayed in its wide space. Mobile devices are often used in portrait orientation (with their smaller screens, there is limited horizontal space even in landscape mode).
Marketers exert much effort to optimize web forms of companies to make the most of conversion. A web form that is poorly designed will surely kill conversion. The same is true when it comes to mobile devices. Forms have to be designed in such a way that mobile users find it easy to fill out forms. How about vertical alignment? Guess what! It also applies to forms. The same principle is followed. Mobile users find it difficult and tiring to scroll to and fro horizontally to completely fill out a form. To make it easy for mobile users to fill out forms, the web should be designed in such a way that form fields are vertically aligned.
Desktops and mobile devices differ widely when it comes to formatting menus. Mega-menus that have several categories and sub-categories are commonly seen on a desktop. Desktop users will be happy with such type of setup since their device has a very large screen , wherein they can read menu text and click with ease on text links. It is a lot different with mobile users since the screens are small and make use of (relatively) large thumbs. These things need to be considered when designing mobile menus. Therefore, these should be single-level menus that have large buttons/text as well as vertical alignment for menus that have several options.
Menus collapse on mobile devices and expand when users zoom in on a category. Though this is not a complete list of mobile website features that should be distinct from its desktop equivalent, these are considered three of the most essential features.
When designing a website it is always important to think about the needs of mobile users and the distinct ways they browse and get information. The above mentioned examples can inspire businesses to improve mobile use on their site.