Building Mobile Websites (and Not Ruining Your Appearance in the Process)
Mobile. A single word that has become the defining adjective for Internet access in recent years. From regular mobile phones, through smartphones, to tablets, the mobile device rapidly became a staple of Internet access and browsing. This has several implications for business, including the most obvious one: a website tailored for mobile devices is rapidly becoming a necessity, rather than luxury. However, the science behind mobile websites is a bit different than what you are used to.
Focus is Everything
Obviously, the first difference between a full size website and a mobile one is the scope. You have a much smaller screen size budget to work with on a mobile device. This means that your website has to be much more compact and streamlined. Text has to be shortened or relegated to subpages, images cropped, down-scaled, or even removed entirely, while navigational menus have to be folded smartly into the front page. An ideal mobile website is highly focused, providing access to all the relevant information a user may need in just a few clicks. Not to mention that a quick loading website will be appreciated more.
A Good Layout a Website Makes
Good focus and loading speed is a function of a good layout. While you can use a free business website builder to create your mobile webpage, the best results are usually the effect of hiring a professional. A good web designer will help optimize the look of a page, rework the navigation so that users that view the site on the small screen of a mobile device will be able to get around, not to mention work in all the content into a single page layout. The biggest problem with classic webpages is that they are opened zoomed out in a mobile browser, making them unreadable. That’s exactly the thing you want to avoid with a mobile website.
Going for Compatibility
One of the most important elements of a mobile website is accessibility. With the enormous number of different cell phone models on the market, it can be hard to design a single, universal website. Well, it’s impossible. What you want to have is several mobile websites, all uniquely tailored to a particular type of device. Users accessing your website with an old model phone should see a version adapted for their phone, while those with a smartphone should be redirected to one tailored for their needs. Another important thing to consider are touchscreen devices. Designing websites for them is tricky, as they rely on a wholly different kind of input. Basically, if you want a very wide reach, you’re looking at at least three websites: one for regular phones, one for smartphones, and one optimized for touchscreen devices.
Keep It Hassle Free
Since mobile device users already sacrifice some of the advantages of a stationary computer in favor of mobility, there’s no need to remind them of that fact. Combine the features of your website with the functionality of a phone. Reduce the amount of text input to a minimum. The idea is to keep the website as intuitive and simple to use as possible. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer: if you have too much problems using a website, you’re likely just going to give up.