Design Criteria for a Mobile Site

Google is looking for designs that are fundamental to the web and mobile, as well as those that follow guidelines for mobile forms best practices and navigation. In this post, we’ll cover these ten essential items.

Why Should You Be Concerned

The number one design criterion, according to Google, is the need for strong content on a mobile site. They want to see sites that are simple, clear, and easy to navigate. Mobile web design should provide a satisfying user experience by showing engagement with the fundamental aspects of mobile web use. This includes:

  • speed
  • simplicity
  • convenience

By implementing these 3 important factors, webmasters can increase their mobile usability score, which is one of many ranking factors.

Homepage and Site Navigation

A fundamental web requirement of a mobile site is its ability to be scannable, with content that is easily accessed and navigated. Google provides many suggestions for effective home page design for your mobile site, including:

  1. Useful links at the top to get users to more info quickly.
  2. Expectant content, such as press releases and deals for upcoming events.
  3. Easy access to the company’s location and hours of operation.

Both mobile and desktop sites should have accessible site navigation, including:

  • Primary menu at all times.
  • Secondary menu on click.

Altogether, these ensure a user can get around your mobile site quickly and easily.

Ensure That Your Calls To Action Are Front and Center

A fundamental aspect of Google’s 10 usability design criteria is the need for a mobile site to have a simple interface. One way to do this is by ensuring that your call to action, such as “buy now” or “sign up,” is large and visible on all pages. By keeping the call to action prominent, users will be able to find it immediately and act upon it.

Keep Your Menu’s To a Minimum

Fitting in everything you want to say about your business can be difficult on a mobile site. To avoid overwhelming the user with too many options, keep your menus to a minimum. More specifically, Google recommends that users can get where they need to go within 3 clicks or less. This will help speed up load times and improve the overall mobile experience.

Don’t Allow Sales or Discounts To Steal The Show

Another fundamental web design aspect is the need to have a mobile site that shows users where your business fits into their lives. Mobile marketing efforts are most effective when users feel as though they are being offered something useful, relevant, and beneficial to them. To avoid this pitfall, Google recommends that businesses don’t include too many sales or deals on their mobile site.

Conversion and Commerce

With the fundamental aspects of mobile web design out of the way, it is time to get down to more technical criteria for a great mobile site. Google’s second-biggest concern is that users can complete transactions on your mobile site by using their phone, whether it be one-click purchases or filling out forms. Below we break this down in further detail.

Allow Users To Explore Before They Make a Purchase

The best mobile sites allow users to explore the product or service on sale before they make a purchase. This allows them to see if it’s what they need and if it is worth their time. This fundamental aspect of web design has become especially important given that over 40% of mobile users say that quality content is the top reason why they would return to a website. By offering users plenty of product information and allowing them to sample the experience, they will be more willing to purchase the end.

Allow People To Make Purchases As Guests

For any mobile site, it is fundamental that users can make a mobile purchase without having to input their personal information every time. By allowing users to sign in as guests, they can check out quickly and buy what they need at that moment. This fundamental aspect of mobile web design is especially important for businesses that seek mobile conversions, since it allows customers to avoid inputting their name, address, and billing info on every mobile site they visit.

For Complicated Activities, Place Click-To-Call Buttons On Your Website

When it comes to mobile conversions, there are times when users will need help with a product or service. Google recommends that these types of activities use the click-to-call feature to ensure that this fundamental aspect of web design is fulfilled. This way, complex activities can be completed quickly and easily by phone rather than wasting time on your website.

Usability and Design Factors

Now that we have covered fundamental mobile web design and its associated criteria, we will now discuss factors that involve usability and design. Google has stated that users should be able to access a website in 3 seconds or less for it to qualify as a mobile site. These fundamental aspects of mobile web design ensure that visitors can get where they want to go quickly and efficiently.

Make Your Entire Website Mobile-Friendly

For fundamental aspects of mobile design, this fundamental aspect of web design is especially important. Google recommends that users should be able to access your entire website whether they are on a smartphone or tablet device. This fundamental aspect of mobile web design means that no matter what type of device your customer is using, they will have the full experience available to them instantly.

Users Should Not Be Required To Use Pinch-To-Zoom

When fundamental aspects of mobile web design like this fundamental aspect of mobile design are present, users will be able to see your entire website without having to zoom in and out. This is especially important if you only offer phone support or provide technical assistance with issues that can’t be fixed by general browsing.

Keep Your User Within A Single Browser Window

Mobile sites need fundamental aspects of mobile web design like this fundamental aspect to ensure that users are not redirected to another window. When fundamental aspects of mobile design like this fundamental aspect are present, visitors will be able to browse your site without having to re-navigate once they leave the main page.

Steer Clear Of “Full Site” Labeling

Full site labeling is fundamental to mobile design like this fundamental aspect of mobile web design. Google’s research has shown that when sites label themselves as a “full site”, users are much less likely to return because they can’t access information as quickly and efficiently. By steering clear of this fundamental aspect of mobile design, you can improve the user experience and keep customers coming back for more.


By understanding fundamental web design principles, you can create a mobile site that Google will index and recommend to users. Try following these fundamental aspects of mobile web design to improve your website’s overall looks, usability, and fundamental aspects of mobile web design.

If you are needing additional help, please reach out to one of our website design professionals so that you know you are optimizing your site as efficiently as possible for mobile.