Today everyone is moving to smartphones or tablets. Laptops and PCs are becoming obsolete. This revolution is compelling the websites to be tailor made for smartphones or tablets. Creating a mobile website is a challenge in itself. Earlier in the PC world the platforms were consistent so if you create a website design, it was expected to work everywhere. But in the mobile phone world the screen size keep changing, different mobile companies use different platform. And with the limited space of mobile screen it becomes tricky to give the users a satisfactory experience.
Gerry Matts the owner of BrioDigital1 states “In today’s speedy environment, you need a mobile presence that improves your brand and taps into the fast growing mobile audience. A mobile website is an easy way to keep up with the consumer on the go. Mobile websites benefit the customer, and in turn, your business. With the increase in smart phone users, with a mobile website, you allow your customers to find you, call you, refer you, and even save your information to their address book, all in the palm of their hand. There are also some helpful functions, like click to call and maps.” (Ref: BrioDigital, http://briodigital.com/mobile-websites/)
Here I am going to list down few things which should be kept in mind while designing a mobile website.
Simple and Concise: Key to a good mobile website is its simplicity. If the website or mobile app is highly overloaded with data or features, it is mostly going to confuse the user. With the limited screen size, accessing all these features can also become a challenge. What user want is , the work should be done with minimum taps or swipes and least typing.
Context: Sticking to the context is very important. A good quality time should be spent while choosing the features and content on the mobile website. The main application of the website should not be diluted with extra and unnecessary contents. It should be kept in mind that the user may use the website when he is out and want some information or service instantly. So, long bios and other secondary content should be avoided in mobile version.
Design for the screen: Look of the mobile website is an important aspect of the website. It is not only the looks but it should also be user friendly. The interactive buttons in the website should be of proper size and also the space between two buttons should be proper. This will help the user to use the buttons comfortably and without tapping the wrong button. Amount of text and images should be apt to have a fast website. A clean layout will make the content more readable and enhance the looks of the website.
Long Term Planning: No doubt with the rapid advancement in the technology field, the mobile devices will look much different in coming years. The way data is accessed and the way data is presented will also go through a change. So while designing your website you should always keep this in mind that your website is capable of evolving in coming years. There should be space for enhancing and adding new features. This will avoid the hassle of going through redesigning of a new website in the coming years. And on the other hand, thinking long term will help you to retain your end users for long time.
Test for Compatibility: Mobile website will be used on various different types of mobiles with different platforms, screen size and screen resolutions. So it is necessary to define a range of devices where the website should be thoroughly tested.