Why Mobile-Last Design Leads to Lost Revenue & How to Fix It

Mobile devices account for the majority of global website traffic. Discover where you lost the lion's share of mobile revenue and learn how to bounce back.

How often has your heart sunk when, smartphone in hand, you tap on a link only to see misplaced text, cut-off images or, worse yet, a pure blank screen that leaves you wondering if the page will ever load? Jokes aside, these situations are incredibly frustrating and, surprisingly, not relics of the past. Yes, despite all the advances of the 21st century.

For businesses, sticking to a mobile-last strategy is akin to signing a declaration of failure.

66.88%

mobile traffic share in March 2024

A dominant force in website traffic?

Mobile devices contributed 66.88% of global website traffic in March 2024, while desktop traffic share was only 31.42% — less than half as much!

More to it: over the last 12 months, mobile drew the biggest chunk of new users, 70%, and generated the highest score of returning visitors, 78% (according to Dynamic Yield fresh data). So, evidently, people, aka users or consumers, spend hours each day browsing social media, reading news, chatting with friends, and — no less importantly — seeking answers and solutions to their needs.

Thus, it’s immensely important to make web design and UX for mobile users clean, easy to navigate, and sticky, let alone have a neatly optimized website for mobile in the first place. 

What’s Wrong: Customer Drop-off and Missed Revenue Opportunities

Today’s fast-paced digital competition doesn’t forgive strategic mistakes. If businesses fail to optimize web design for mobile devices, they will bear the brunt — extremely frustrated users, higher bounce rates, and low ranks in search engines, to name a few. 

Particularly, the killer of the user’s joys is poor usability on mobile devices. This directly contributes to customer drop-off and missed revenue opportunities. A revelation? Users with phones in their hands expect nothing but a seamless, intuitive, smoothly flowing experience that takes them further down their journey with each succeeding tap.

What irritates them most, then? Small touch targets like those CTAs you can’t hit even with your little finger. Also, what about difficult-to-read text? Are you enjoying straining your eye muscles or playing zoom-in and zoom-out? Without fluid adaptation to screen dimensions, regardless of the cellphone brand, websites look like bricks of content scattered chaotically across the screen. If responsiveness is the key, then the lack of it is indeed the killer.

Even though hunt-and-peck typists are still among us, they are far more fluent on mobile devices. Aren’t we all? Our thumbs have perhaps grown more flexible than our spines! That’s why we are so quick to identify troubles with navigation menus, contact forms, search bars, etc. If these features become our pains, we aren’t going to bother sticking around — away we go.

Let’s be frank: when we struggle to interact with a website, we don’t think twice — we move on to a better one, meeting the essential usability standards. That’s where lost mobile revenue and missed opportunities stem from.

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How to Fix It: Optimizing User Experience for Mobile Devices

A few times in consultations with Darwin’s Head of Design, we heard this question asked by marketers from various companies: How do I optimize my website for mobile without changing anything? Without changing anything, you can only expect nothing to change. As simple as that.

Below, we outlined a structured approach for addressing and resolving common mobile usability problems to enhance your mobile performance and user experience.

Conducting Mobile Website Audit

  • Review essentials

Start by examining the essential elements: your mobile site's current layout, navigation, interface, and user flows. While doing so, look for streamlined, intuitive designs that facilitate quick and easy browsing.

  • Identify problem areas

Pinpoint exact examples where usability and responsiveness fall short. Elements like complex navigation paths or slow response times on touch interactions are the ones to keep your eye on.

  • Map out scalability

Even though obvious, this is often overlooked: establish a set of principles to ensure that website elements and content scale effectively across different devices, screen sizes, and resolutions.

  • Doublecheck accessibility across devices

Confirm that key functionalities, such as menu accessibility, form inputs, and call-to-action buttons, are easily operable on mobile devices.

Implementing Responsive Design Practices

  • Adaptability at the core

Apply responsive design best strategies to enhance the mobile website layout and user experience. Fluid grids, flexible images, and CSS styling that adapt to the user’s device increase your chances of catching their undivided attention.

Quick Tip:

Have you heard about Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)? It's a nifty tool for creating simple graphics like logos, icons, and infographics.

  • Continuous testing

Test the website’s responsiveness across a range of mobile devices and screen sizes regularly to ensure a consistent user experience. It may sound trivial, but testing goes a long way.

Quick Tip:

Regularly test your mobile site's usability with real users to identify and fix pain points.

Optimizing Mobile Performance

  • Speed enhancements

Strive to optimize the mobile site’s performance. 85% of website users expect the mobile website to be faster than its desktop analogue, with a loading time of just 2 seconds or less. So, make sure your website is optimized for speedy loading times: compress images, leverage browser caching, minify CSS and JavaScript, or move on to a faster hosting provider.

  • Streamlining content and reducing data usage

Reduce or eliminate unnecessary content and elements that bog down load times. If an image doesn’t load, it serves users as a reason to abandon the site. So prioritize content that contributes directly to user engagement and conversion, and don’t forget CTAs on your homepage.

How to Check Your Mobile-Friendliness:

Use tools like BrowserStack to see if your site is effectively optimized for various devices.

See Darwin at Work

Schedule a free 30-minute call with Darwin's Head of Design to brainstorm and fire off questions or ideas about the project you're racking your brain about. In this session, you'll gain a design concept idea developed on the spot, providing a solid starting point for your design journey.

We’ll help you with
  • → Aligning design goals with business objectives.

  • → Setting impactful on-page design targets.

  • → Reviewing current design trends and best practices.

  • → Conducting on-the-go design brainstorming and ideation.

  • → Hosting a Q&A for design alignment.

Develop Design Ideas Further Your Way

You’ll receive a recording swiftly after the call to expand on our Design Lead's ideas. From there, you can share it with your design teams or begin crafting your own design strategy and concept — it’s entirely up to you how you benefit from the 30-minute session!

Schedule a Design Concept Idea Call
Get ready for a productive session:

Use a page (URL) or template as a reference.
Prepare questions to ask.
Define your page objectives (e.g., conversion, leads, sales).

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