When it is time to design a mobile website, there are several considerations you have to make.
Design Considerations for Mobile Websites
A lot of people consider mobile websites to have design flaws. A more accurate way to look at them is that mobile websites have particular design needs that desktop based sites don't have. Smaller screens is one key difference.
The most visible difference between a desktop and a mobile device is the screen. Designing a website for a mobile device becomes complicated mainly because of the range of screen sizes. Furthermore, some smartphones can change orientation and the consumers expect the website to change accordingly. A good website design must factor all these issues.
Navigation is different on a mobile site. You should consider that, unlike desktop users who use a mouse to navigate, mobile users use touch, small keypads, and trackballs to navigate in a device with a smaller screen. The customers also need to complete the tasks quickly and in an efficient manner. To achieve this, the website must have a clear and intuitive navigation. You can improve navigation by ensuring prioritized user needs on the home page that are presented vertically. You should also use clear, concise and consistent navigation labels on the website.
Mobile Websites Require Little Input From the User
Ensure minimal user input in your mobile website design. You should note that typing on a mobile device whether touch or keypad based is not the same as typing from a desktop or from a laptop. Some mobile devices have tedious numeric keypads while smartphones have tiny keypads that are prone to finger errors. You can ensure minimal input by keeping your URL as short as possible or by using other alternative input methods. You can also improve the users input experience by allowing them to choose from a list and using smart default values that remember user previous input.
Design for intermittent connectivity
Although mobile providers keep rolling out faster internet speed services, connectivity for mobile remains intermittent. You should also note that mobile phone users do not have unlimited data plans on their mobile. Therefore, you should ensure the pages are loading quickly and within the mobile memory limitations. You can do this by keeping the pages small and by removing unnecessary comments, codes, and tags.
When designing your mobile website, it is imperative to ensure consistent and integrated user experience across all channels. You must maintain a balance of form and function and continuity. You can also improve the users’ experience by ensuring your website is scrolling in only one direction.
Finally, you want to remember a simple truth about websites, mobile or otherwise. They are there to deliver information to any viewers out there. So, keep it simple. A lot of phones can't do Flash animation for example. Design a simple, easy to use site and that way you'll have a mobile website that will help and not hurt your business.
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