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Smartphoneby Jeff Graber, Media Services Specialist, Network Management Group, Inc.

One of the big things on business owners’ minds when it comes to their website is making it usable on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Here are some ways to make it easier for your viewers to get valuable information from your website while using a mobile device.

Enlarge clickable elements

It is important to keep in mind that nobody’s index finger is as accurate as a mouse pointer. To make it easier for your visitors to use your site, make clickable features like navigation, buttons, and form fields large enough to press.

Simplify navigation

Though usable on non-mobile devices, dropdown navigation can be the most annoying feature of a website when viewed on a mobile device. This is because there is no way to “hover” over items on a touch screen. Some devices have made it possible to show hover events when an element is pressed and held for a couple seconds, but not everyone has this capability. Your best bet is to lose the dropdowns and go with something simpler.

Also, make sure your navigation is text-based and not graphic-based. Even though mobile networks have made great improvements when it comes to bandwidth, loading is still not as speedy or reliable as a fixed data connection. This means images may not load quickly, making navigation difficult to use.

Do not use Flash driven content

Using flash to display featured content, video, audio, etc. may look sleek on a monitor. However, it is unviewable on most mobile devices including the iPhone and iPad. Some JavaScript based alternatives to using flash on your website are:

JQuery
MooTools
WebGL
HTML5 <canvas>

Reduce clutter

Because of reduced loading speed on mobile devices, it is important to make sure your website is light-weight. This means limiting the amount of graphics, advertisements, and irrelevant content that is displayed on each page of your website. Not only will this help your site load faster, it will give it a cleaner look on mobile browsers; making it easier for visitors to find information.