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Gone are the golden days when mobile website designing was an after-thought. With the continuous launch of ground-breaking devices, more and more users are accessing the World Wide Web through their mobile devices. It is high time you bite the bullet and accept the fact that web has gone wild in the mobile mode. For sure, there’s no turning back.
Today, with the smartphones ruling the entire world, it seems a mobile website design is crucial compared to a desktop design. In other words, every website must address a mobile strategy. And now, if charging up your mobile website design is on your to-do list, then better stay with me! I have listed out a few must know mobile website design tips to make your work easy.
Define Your Need:
Yes! Of course, it is a mobile website design you are planning for. But then, you need to be clear on –
- If it’s a brand new website (then the need is for both desktop as well as mobile version)
- If it’s redesigning a website (including a new mobile website)
- If it’s just addition of mobile version of existing website (designs will not change)
Well, each of the above three circumstances brings about an entirely different set of requirements. So, it’s better to determine and define your need, before starting the designing work.
Think of Responsive Web Design:
There are over a thousand devices out in the market and are still kicking in. Checking your website for just a few web browsers and launching it is over. With all the recent developments, your website needs to be optimized for a vast landscape covering desktops and mobile browsers of different resolutions.
Utilizing responsive web design layout, you can design a site that scales and adapts to any screen resolution and any browser it is viewed. In simple words, rather than tailoring all the disconnected designs for the ever-increasing number of web devices, it’s better to treat them as facets for the same user experience.
Simplicity is Golden:
The general rule of thumb in mobile website design is simplifying things wherever possible. Experts believe that simplicity results in usability. Instead of having lengthy sections that are really hard to read, it’s better to have simple and short portions. If you are planning for a mobile website, then it’s time to get rid of low priority content. It’s always better to stick to single columns rather than the long drawn out ones with horizontal scrolling.
At the same time, give your users the freedom to move around your site with ease. Always avoid the inclusion of frames or tables or any other formatting stuff. Keep in mind, you have to strip down and simplify your site with a perfect balance between high quality content and navigation.
Do you have a lot of information to be added to your mobile website?
Well, most, if nor many of us, just keep adding things, the scrolling never ever ends. A single column structure is good, but not elongated ones. Most of the times, people get sick of scrolling and skip the website. At times like these, it’s a must for you to think of a simple and elegant way of presenting it. Try collapsible navigation! Think of stacking chunks of large contents in attractive folding modules, so that you give your user their freedom to tap and open the content they wish to read and skip the rest.
Go to Full Website:
While you are simplifying the information and design, you might remove a lot of content that some users are searching for. In such circumstances, if you have provided them with an option to switch back to full website, they can find and view the features and contents that are accessible only in the desktop version. This will be of great help to people who love your desktop site. But at the same time, try to have the navigation thumb friendly. In today’s fast paced world, there are few people who have the time to sit and leisurely browse through your pages. Millions and millions of people access the World Wide Web, while on work or when they are on the run.
Communicate Through Color:
Most of the developers think do not think color to be a related factor to mobile websites usability, but the fact is that color plays a crucial role. If the colors are used in the right parameters, it makes the website visually compelling and increases the traffic. But, if the parameters are exceeded, then the website might seem like a junk. Any information that is conveyed using colors should have a contrasting effect with the other elements in the design. Background colors are highly accepted, but text colors can reduce the visibility of its contents. Do remember the fact; colors are used to communicate even more effectively, and not just to make things look attractive and pretty.
Pop-ups or new windows can be a great hindrance to browsing experience. Mobile browsers generally don’t support pop-ups. Even if a new window opening, then there would be a very narrow space to pop into. So, it’s always better to avoid using pop-ups and stay away from unpredictable results.
If in case, there’s an absolute need for something to pop out in a new window, ensure you alert the user. And also avoid refreshing pages periodically. Constant refreshs will fill the device’s limited memory and cause unexpected problems. To avoid such problems, just let the user refresh it whenever needed.
In a Nutshell:
- Get creative
- Try new concepts
- Have compelling content
- Make your website easily navigable
- Give the users what they exactly want
In short, the users are not going to dig deeper into your site to find what they need in a mobile website. Just keep it simple and elegant enough with easy navigation!
So, have I missed any important tip for mobile website design? Then, share it with me in your comment! Let’s spread the word.