A mobile-responsive website should ...
Before you go plunging into the wilds of testing your website for mobile responsiveness, let’s back up for a moment and consider what components make a really good mobile website. While a desktop computer offers a larger screen and more opportunities to play around with design, a mobile device has a much smaller screen, and complicated widgets and designs won’t always work the same.
Here are some of the big things that you’ll want to check when you’re looking at whether or not your real estate website is appropriately mobile-responsive.
Be easy to navigate
The simpler and cleaner the navigation on your website, the better. You don’t want users to pop open a menu that’s so long they’ll be scrolling down until they’ve forgotten what their options were up at the top!
Think about where you might be able to group or consolidate different pages on your website in an intuitive, organic way so that users feel like they know where they are and how to get back to something that looked intriguing a few pages ago.
Have a clean typeface
The deceptive thing about typefaces is that one can look amazing in the example text—which is usually only a sentence or two long—but an entire page’s worth of that typeface becomes borderline or totally unreadable. And what works really well on a desktop might not translate to a mobile device, and vice versa!
A good web design should include typeface options that are easily legible and work across all device types and sizes.
Take advantage of color contrast
Desktop computers are usually located in offices with fluorescent lighting, while you might be trying to read a website on a phone while walking around outside in bright sunlight. Colors that are too “close” to each other start to blur together, and eventually you have to start doing that unfortunate dance with your hand to try to dim the screen.
Save users that pain by choosing a color scheme that pops beautifully on all screens, no matter what kind of light they’re up against.
Know that different browsers behave differently on different devices
Google isn’t Firefox, which isn’t Safari, and none of them are going to behave exactly the same as another browser on different devices.
You no doubt have your own preferences for both device and browser, and your clients will have theirs; ideally, your website vendor will do this kind of exhaustive criss-cross testing for you to ensure that all combinations work the way they should.
Look: Nobody is on their smartphone waiting for a page to load for longer than a handful of seconds. Most people are looking something up on a phone (and not a laptop or a desktop) because they’re in at least some kind of hurry and need to know right now!
Mobile speed is a search ranking factor, but it’s also important because more than half of users will abandon a website that takes longer than three seconds to load. Just .01 of a second speed improvement can have a measurable conversion impact, according to research from Deloitte.
It bears repeating: A page that’s aligned perfectly on a desktop is not going to look the same on mobile screens, so you’ll want to make sure that the images and text are all aligned so that they make sense—captions are aligned under the appropriate photos, nothing is floating off the screen anywhere, and all of the alignment looks like it was, well, designed that way.
Finesse interactive components
If you’re a real estate agent with a website, then it probably has some kind of IDX component, in which case you’ll want to spend at least a little bit of extra time testing how the home search works on mobile devices.
There are others that are also worth testing (home valuation calculators for sellers, for example), but if your IDX doesn’t deliver the same experience on a mobile device as on a desktop, that’s a really big problem!
Handle pop-ups with grace
Is there a pop-up on your website inviting buyers and sellers to book a call with you, ask for a free comparative market analysis, or sign up for an email newsletter? No shame in advertising your business, of course … but make sure that it fits neatly within a smaller screen so that your mobile users are still easily able to minimize that pop-up.