The days when mobile devices were once used just for texting or to look up a phone number are long gone. Phones have become our lifeline to all forms of communication and to all information. Let’s face it, if we don’t have our phones (with Internet access), we’re incomplete. That goes quadruple for teenagers – and prospective college students.
Having a website is a must for all colleges and universities – it has become the norm, and expected by prospective students. Today, we are very close to witnessing this same trend for mobile web use.
In fact, according to Morgan Stanley, by mid-2013, there will be more mobile Internet users than desktop Internet users.
First, think like a prospective student using a mobile phone. Now, think about how fast they text. To cater to this “I want it fast” generation, less is more and fast is better – and that includes your college website.
Here are some helpful hints for developing a mobile college website:
- Use images sparingly to decrease load time. Recommended load time for mobile websites is 5 seconds.
- User-friendly navigation is key – go with large buttons clickable with a thumb.
- Scale down your navigation menu. Fewer options per menu view will make information easier to find.
- Reduce the amount of content. Every pixel counts, so only include the most important information.
- Make your call-to-action easy, and easy to find. Place this at both the top and bottom of your website.
- Don’t make your visitors struggle. Touch screens and tiny keys, click-to-call or click-to-SMS functions help with easy interaction.
- Avoid too much scrolling. Don’t make users scroll down your site more than three times.
- Carry over your brand attributes. Be memorable and on brand at the same time.
Bottom line: Get to the point. Keep it clear, simple and fast.
Have you viewed a college or university website on a mobile phone? Tell us about your experience.
Austin Williams is an outcomes-driven full service advertising, marketing, digital and public relations agency, creating ideas that inspire action for clients in healthcare, higher education, financial services, nonprofits and professional services.