Metro-style designs have the potential to be sleek, beautiful pages. However, just like city metro vehicles can be shiny and attractive or dented and rusty, a metro site can be poorly planned and offer unsatisfactory results, or it can be well-planned and executed and provide a consistent user interface. When planning a metro design, there are certain key points to consider.
Define Your Goals and Objectives
Your site is intended to enhance your business in some manner, and you need to define your expectations from the site and prioritize them. For example, do you expect to use the site to increase online sales? Is the primary purpose to build a relationship with potential new customers or improve the online experience for existing customers? Do you need to drive traffic to your physical location? Only when you know what you want the site to deliver can you determine the best way to achieve the desired results.
Use Responsive Design
People will use a variety of mobile devices to access your site, and some are fiercely loyal to a specific platform or phone. You should not ask your current customers to choose between your business and their favorite mobile device, and it is unrealistic to require potential customers to adapt to you. Responsive web design optimizes the online experience for users through variable screen resolutions, display options and more.
Incorporate Flexible Media and Content
On a website accessed only through a desktop, an image requires an average of 788 kB, and graphics may take up more than 60 percent of the total file size. With a metro design, you should use fluid graphics that can scale in file size as well as measurements without sacrificing how sharply they render. If your site includes videos, use platforms that are already designed to handle videos successfully across all devices, such as YouTube or Vimeo. Keep content fluid as well, but ensure relationships and hierarchy remain true. Allow layouts to readjust if certain conditions require it to do so.
Address Performance Issues
No matter how great your site looks, if users cannot access it, you cannot expect results. Mobile connections remain slower than most high-speed connections used for desktops, so you want your site to load as fast as possible without sacrificing its purpose. Keep in mind that you have to work with a much smaller screen, so keep navigation and layout simple and place all elements wisely. Consider single-column layouts and collapsible navigation if your site design is suitable.
Enhance Usability Features
Your visitors will not be using a mouse to click on a tiny button or link. Instead, they will most likely be tapping with a thumb or finger — and not everyone’s digits are petite. You also need to make sure that they can find the appropriate button or link, so make it easy for them, such as using an eye-catching color or choosing efficient placement. Remember that mobile sites offer no ability to hover, such as a dropdown or series of dropdown menus.
Creating a highly usable, responsive and rich metro design site does not require sacrificing the sleek, contemporary style. All it takes is the proper planning, development and implementation. To learn more about how EX Squared, a leading Austin web design and IT solution developer, can help you achieve your goals with a custom mobile website or other IT service, contact us. We are an experienced web design company based in Austin, TX.