Mobile websites are predicted to be just as big, if not bigger, in 2014 as they were in 2013. More than 80 percent of stores have either developed mobile sites or have plans to develop them over the next couple years. For informational sites, the challenge is in discerning how they can translate their typical communication measures onto a mobile website. The forum, for instance, remains popular on most informational sites, even with the proliferation of social media platforms like Facebook. If your site has a forum, here are some things you want to remember when translating your forum into a mobile-friendly format.
Think Big Buttons
One of the biggest challenges with forums on a mobile website is the fact that they rely so heavily on small buttons. From the forum menu to the individual threads and responses, a forum requires significantly more clicking than the average website. Because the average mobile user will be using his finger rather than a mouse, precision is significantly compromised. The best way to avoid your visitors from clicking on the wrong link over and over again before they finally get frustrated and leave is to make sure that you have very large buttons for the forum itself. On most mobile devices, this means that only two or three threads may be visible at a time. But it also means that when visitors click on a link, they can actually hit it.
Enable Continuous Browsing
When it comes to the best mobile web design, continuous browsing is definitely an effective component. Continuous browsing allows the user to immerse himself in the online experience without having to click on additional pages. When you set up a forum on your mobile website, you need to make sure that continuous browsing is enabled and works efficiently. Once you set up large buttons, only a few of the threads will be visible at any given time. But with continuous browsing, your visitors can keep scrolling down until they find the threads they want.
Cut All Tails
In most forums, people can respond with the full text of the previous post in the message. But when you are setting up a mobile friendly website and forum, you need to cut this tail. Set it up so the default requires that visitors only submit original content. Tails will automatically be removed. If a visitor wants to quote a section from a previous post, he can opt to do so, but make sure that they can’t just copy and paste the entire post as this will slow down the browsing experience for everyone.
Adding a forum to your mobile-friendly site can be an important way to keep up the communication, particularly if your visitors expect that from your traditional site. However, to make it work, you must be prepared to make some changes. You will need to develop large buttons for the forum options to the people can easily access the sections they want. You should also enable continuous browsing, and you need to make sure that all tails are cut to minimize excessively long posts.