With the increasing number of mobile devices in all parts of the world, the mobile method to access the Internet will only get more popular from here on now. This creates new opportunities for web designers and website owners to incorporate a mobile strategy into their web based plans.
These days a mobile website can be of any type, it can be a static website or a content driven website (CMS) or also an interactive web application. However, you need to cater to the needs of your clients first and foremost if you are a web designer or a web developer.
You need a strategy based on the project you are working on. The following 10 pieces of advice about all the stages of mobile website development, strategy, design and implementation are extremely useful to follow for a successful launch of mobile website as this must be one of your goals.
1 – Know the Requisite Reasons for your Mobile Site’s Existence
There could be three reasons for the need to have a mobile website which are as follows:
- It is a brand new website that requires a mobile and a desktop strategy.
- It is a redesign from a working website which also needs a new mobile website.
- It is an existing desktop website which won’t be changing, but it needs a mobile website to complement it.
These are 3 scenarios and 3 completely different sets of requirements which help you decide the best way moving forward.
2 – Prioritize the Business Objectives
When you design for a business, it has some objectives in relation to its website. How they will translate on a mobile website is your job to figure out. Those should be your top priority in your design of the mobile website, but they can’t all be a part of a small screen experience and that’s why you should focus on the top objectives before anything else.
For example, In Hyundai’s website, the desktop version has big, chrome images of their vehicles that evoke an emotional connection for their customers. You also find out a vigorous navigation, callouts to several benefits of Hyundai cars, social media links and website search.
However, the mobile version of Hyundai is stripped-down a notch. Yet it contains a big image of their latest vehicle, and other images of vehicles optimized for mobile. The intricate navigation and other features are absent in the mobile version for the sake of simplicity and best user experience. The primary business objective to evoke an emotional connection with their cars using images still remains intact and effective.
3 – Past Data is Important
4 – Responsive Web Design is the Future!
You can’t settle for one particular version for your website. The types of mobile devices are numerous with different screen resolutions, browsers and supported tech. How do you cater to that? Designing several different versions for each user base and device sounds tedious. That is where the latest web technologies, a.k.a. Responsive Web Design are most useful; you develop your website to adjust the content’s layout based on the device used.
5 – Your Design can be Simple yet Beautiful
The wireless internet connections have gotten better than ever but is still slower than hardwired connections. That is why designers simplify the mobile website design, as no one likes to wait 3 minutes before a website can be loaded. You also have less screen real estate at your disposal, so you want all the essential elements to load first.
However, beautiful designs optimized for mobile are still possible using CSS3, which is a fantastic tool for creating things like gradients, drop-shadows, and rounded corners all without settling for unnecessary bulky images.
6 – Layouts with Single-Column are the Best!
Responsive web design techniques can help you adapt multi-column layouts, a norm in desktop versions, to single-column. It is the most effective layout for mobile screens. Scaling is also quite easy across different modes and device resolutions.
7 – Collapsible Hierarchies are Efficient
A lot of information can be quite effortlessly condensed if you use vertical hierarchies that are collapsible. This form of navigation is not only efficient but also looks beautiful. Hence why it is most popular right now. It is the next form of a single column structure.
8 – Tapping is unlike Clicking
The dynamic of user interaction on mobile devices is different from desktop since it involves tapping. Thumbs and fingers are thicker than the cursor and it is of paramount importance that larger area is reserved for tapping at icons or links to make the user feel comfortable.
Also, while desktop has hover, single click and double click options, mobile devices only have tap and double tap, so you need to keep that in mind while you design.
9 – User’s Involvement should be Easy and Obvious
The web design should provide obvious feedback for any front-end actions in your website just like all desktop versions have. A tapped link or icon should change state, color and shape to indicate that a tap is successful. Loading states when something is loading or in progress should be visible with minimum fuss. No one likes to stare at a static screen with no feedback.
As far as user feedback is concerned, keep the textual input by users to minimum. It is really hard to type 300-words essay on a popped up keyboard on a mobile device.
10 – Don’t Forget to Test your Mobile Website!
You need to test your website on as many devices as possible, ideally on all mobile devices. Of course, it is impossible for you to own that many devices. Therefore, you need to get help from different web-based emulators and specific SDKs for your website’s checkup. You will have to use both in order to get a clear idea of the shortcomings in your design and implement improvements.
Also make sure to test your website’s performance using tools such as Google’s PageSpeed or YSlow.
Hopefully, this article provided you with valuable information that you will find helpful in your mobile web design endeavors.
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