Digital technology is advancing in giants steps which frightens sometimes. Internet is being browsed more and more with portable smart devices. This places organizations in front of new challenges. How does my online store work on mobile devices? Can the user perform the ordering process of a concert ticket with the tablet? Help, is our website outdated?
We collected ten points you can use to test if your website or service is up-to-date or whether it would need an update. Test yourself:
1. Your website has been made before 2010
The first iPad was released only five years ago so none of the websites published before 2010 are optimized for tablets.
Does you website utilize the tablet’s swipe functionalities both horizontal and vertical? How does the navigation work on a tablet?
2. The website is either too small or too big
Responsive or adaptive design enables optimized browsing of the website or service on all devices. When viewing on a large screen the page elements are scaled to cover blank space, while in mobile devices content is compressed into a small space.
How does your website look like on a smartphone or tablet? Is something important left outside the screen? Are you using the full screen when viewing from a desktop computer?
3. Small pictures and icons will pulp on Retina screens
In 2013, the ever-increasing Retina displays are nearly half more accurate than older LCD screens. Retina is available in all of Apple’s latest products. Sharp displays make small icons and pictures to show pixelated and inaccuracy if no specific attention has been paid.
Do the icons of your website pixelate as scrappy when viewed from the Retina screen?
4. The site map does not reflect the reality
When a new website or service is published all the elements and subpages are neatly in their right places. Over time, new subpages are created by the publishing system, often by several people. If the website was not originally designed to be expanded in a controlled manner, the website may be filled with subpages that do not have an official address. The user experiences such pages confused and frustrating.
Does your website have subpages which are not accessible through the main navigation? Does your website reflect your sitemap?
5. There is Flash or other outdated plugins in your website
Flash sites and its plugins which were popular in the 2000s are not visible on tablets or mobile devices.
Have your website navigation or elements relevant to your service been made with Flash or any other old technology?
6. Your website is not unobstructed
Accessibility refers to the design principle which aims to take into account the visually impaired users. Reading devices and methods have evolved from the past years so even more unobstructed websites are easy and cost-effective to implement.
Is your website or service usable by simply using the keyboard? Is there any text embedded in the pictures on the pages? How are icons and engravings named in the code?
7. The website’s most important functionality does not work on smart devices
I recently tried to order a flight with my smartphone when I was sitting in a cafe. It did not work. Old-fashioned technology can prevent products or services from being subscribed and purchased on smart devices. Surprisingly many online stores ignore mobile users in any way.
Will the most important functionalities of your website or service also work on smartphones and tablets? Can the purchasing process be finalized also on mobile? Potential orders are not flowing into the cyberspace?
8. Cannot navigate on mobile devices
If your website or service is not designed to be mobile-friendly, navigation is difficult; the buttons are small and they are hard to hit. The pull-down menus might not work. Nowadays navigation is generally designed so that it automatically changes into mobile-friendly when the page is browsed on a smartphone or tablet.
Are smartphones and tablets taken into account when designing navigation? Are your buttons big enough on mobile devices?
9. Website fonts are old-fashioned
Ten years ago it was possible to use only a few alternative fonts on websites. Nowadays there are thousands of fonts available. Using the old “basic fonts” will make your website look old-fashioned easily. Modern typography will crown your website.
Do you still use the so-called “web-safe” fonts? Have your website’s fonts been designed in the last millennium?
10. Has your website been designed based on old trends and assumptions?
New studies that explore internet usage give rise to trends that appear in user interface solutions and in general visualization. In Nielsen’s user interface studies for instance the length of the pages is not a problem for usability. Previously there have been delusions that have since been corrected in the light of new research knowledge.
Is all potential information squeezed on top of the homepage on your website? Have you been afraid of the length of the page? Would it be time to check whether your website is designed based on the current research information?
How do your test results look like? Are you satisfied with the current status of your website? If you noticed several points where your online service was out dated it would certainly be time to consider updating the website.
Existing utilization challenges are solved by service design and good user interface design. A highly mobile optimized website or service is a clear competitive advantage with which you have the potential to win the surfer on your side and take a lead to competitors. An excellent example is, for example, the Virgin American’s new service that makes booking your flight incredibly easy even with your phone – give it a go!