What to Consider When Making a Mobile Version of Your Site
The changes in and acceptance of mobile technology has changed the web in more ways than we could ever imagine.
Your web design checklist for building a mobile website might in some ways be similar to your desktop version but there are some notable differences that you need to consider as well. Most notable is the fact that mobile devices networks cannot provide the same speed as that of broadband services.
You will also need to consider the screen through which your site will be displayed. It will definitely be a far cry from even the smallest desktop screen. Some business owners resist the development of a mobile version of their site thinking that there’s still time. If you’re serious about keeping your audience the time for that mobile design is now.
Keep It Simple
Strip your mobile site down to the bare minimum. That means no unnecessary images, design elements, Flash or anything that adds clutter to the site. Every bit of space is important and the little that you have should be dedicated to providing the things that your customers need most.
Go From Clickable to Tapable
The site’s navigation, links and buttons need to be designed for tapping rather than clicking. Remember all the fancy hover features will be pointless for fingers so leave them out. By designing for the tap and not the click you will decrease the risk of the visitor accidentally leaving your site.
Use Vertical and Collapsible Navigation
It is easier for mobile users to scroll from top to bottom so eliminate any horizontal scrolling from your mobile web design. As much as vertical scrolling will be easier you should also keep this to a minimum. A collapsible navigation where site visitors can expand the information block they need and hide the ones they don’t is a great idea for layout.
Use A Single Column Layout
A single column layout for a mobile website is the most user-friendly. This type of layout instantly helps with the problem of limited space and makes it easy for the site to be shown on devices with different resolutions. Mobile users tend to flip between landscape and portrait screens so a single column will display best in this instance.
Responsive web design makes moving a multi-column site to a single column site easy and practical.
Interaction Feedback Is Important
You will need to find a way to let users know that specific actions have been completed. For instance whenever a user taps a button to complete an action they need confirmation that the “tap” has be registered. Visual feedback is important and you can provide this by having colors change when an action is being initiated.
This is often obvious on desktop browsers but with mobile browsers it is not as obvious so have a plan for interaction feedback in your mobile design.
Test Your Mobile Website
Once your site is complete invest some time and effort to test your design on as many devices as possible to ensure that it displays the way that it is supposed to.
If you have any other useful tips for mobile web design please contribute them below.
About the Author: Edwin is an avid online marketer and writer currently working at 9th sphere – An award winning company specializing in online marketing and delivering the best in web design Toronto. Edwin has a passion for great design and helping businesses succeed.