Mobile Web Design
Just in case you missed it for whatever reason, mobile and smart phones are slowly but surely taking over the world. In fact, research shows that in the near future the number of mobile subscriptions will outnumber the population of people in the world. It is in light of this that web designers have to tighten their grip on mobile site design if they are to have a future with their craft and business. The sad thing is that it is easier said than done. But below are some tips to help future-proofing your art easier.
Consider the fast paced technology
Mobile phones have come a long way since their creation. The change has been fast and permanent. The mobile industry is one that is characterized by change – inevitable change. As such, to future proof your design and to create sites that will be viable for several years to come you will have to factor in the expected change trajectory. Anticipate the change and leave room for upgrade in your design where possible. Research and plan before you design to get a deep understanding of the common devices and behavior of users.
Speaking of which, most of the mobile web users do not access the sites when they are on the go. They will do it when they are waiting for the train, queuing in the bank, waiting for their coffee, in the car, or the sofa at the comfort of their home. As such, providing a site that is too simple in design will be counterproductive. A site with nothing much aside from its skeleton will look like a glorified banner ad proving no real experience or value.
Mobile sites as accessed as much as desktop sites and as such, while the sites have to be easy to use and simple, they should also be rich in content providing value to the user. After all, it is the sole reason they are visiting your site.
Like desktop sites, mobile sites should be optimized for both search engines and users. The text should be clear to read, the navigation providing an exciting experience, metadata as well as alt tags.
The file sizes i.e. weight should be considered especially on the landing pages. This is important as it will affect the loading speed of the site which can make or break the user’s experience on the site – no one likes to wait for pages to load.
As far as buttons go, they should be sized just right, comfortable to press with the thumb without pressing down on other content on the site.
Mobile web design is a challenge that any designer has to take head-on if they are to succeed in providing a comprehensive and quality service to their client. Planning before hand is one aspect of the design that will see the success of this project. Having the user and search engines in mind will help jump over obstacles you will come across.