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Top 5 Things To Consider When Designing Your Mobile Sites
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Top 5 Things to Consider When Designing Your Mobile Sites

According to web analytics company StatCounter, global mobile internet usage (not including tablets) has doubled from 4.3 percent in January 2011 to 8.5 percent in January 2012. Furthermore, even though mobile internet usage still only accounts for roughly less than 10%, it has been doubling year-over-year since 2009.

What Does This Mean To You?

Although many companies have started to consider developing a “mobile” friendly version of their website the majority are simply allowing their visitors to browse their website’s “desktop” version on these devices. There in lines what this all means to you…

Are All Mobile Sites The Same?

Before you simply start designing your mobile friendly website or already have one… have you also considered the “tablet browsing experience”… (Forrester estimates that one-third of online consumers will be using a tablet by 2015).

The reason why I am presenting you with this question is because tablet users have come to expect a unique browsing experience. Tablets provide a high-touch, swipe, pinch experience that makes browsing the Internet or shopping online extremely interactive.

Top 5 Things to Consider When Designing Your Mobile Sites

  1. Your Mobile Site Is Not A Mini Desktop Version

    Many companies think that their website can simply be scaled down on the device and it will function the same. Load your website on your smartphone and ask yourself if the experience was enjoyable and if you were able to easily find what you were looking for and navigate without getting frustrated with you size of your fingers.

  2. Limit Choices

    There is a lot more screen real estate on a desktop so the amount of information you can push to the visitor is that much greater. When designing your mobile site make sure you are limiting the amount of content the user is presented on each page and that it is relevant and enhances their experience.

  3. Test, Test, Test and then Test Some More

    Make sure that you test your mobile site on a variety of different devices. Variables like speed, page layout, content (text, images, etc) size may look and act different and you might have to tweak the designs further. Better to do this in the design phase then to launch a site that frustrates prospective clients.

  4. Where's The Mouse

    Many people make the mistake of forgetting that smartphones and tablet don’t have a mouse so things like roll-overs (content pop-ups, link hovers, etc) usually don’t work.

  5. CSS, Scripts, Custom Widgets and Flash

    Browsing speed is essential for mobile users. The more times the device has to call on scripts or custom widgets to render the page the slower and more frustrating the experience will become for the end user. Also, consider using jquery or HTML5 instead of Flash as it will not render on smartphones.

While you may now be re-evaluating if you should even move forward with a mobile website design, that exercise might just be the thing you need to review and improve your overall (current) website’s design. Smartphones and Tablets force you to utilize the limited viewing space more effectively, in turn, a lot of unnecessary content and elements are stripped away – making for a simpler and cleaner design but more importantly having a stronger focus on delivering an enhanced and enjoyable user experience.


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