Top Three Considerations for Mobile Website Design
In recent years, a combination of increased network speeds and improved device capabilities has created an explosive growth in the number of Internet users accessing the web through mobile devices. According to Gartner¹, mobile phones will overtake PCs as the most common Web access device worldwide, in 2013. In order to take advantage of this major shift in web-browsing demographics, designers of mobile websites must keep in mind some basic rules for creating a high performing and easy to navigate mobile website.
When compared to personal computers, mobile devices tend to have smaller screen sizes and slower network connections. In addition, many mobile devices utilize touch-reliant user interfaces. Given these constraints, what are the top considerations for ensuring a user friendly and responsive mobile website?
Top Three Design Considerations for a Mobile Website:
1. Prioritizing of Website Content:
Designing websites for small-screened devices demands prioritization of website content. With smaller screen sizes, there is no room for needless text, nonessential links, or superfluous images. In addition, developers building websites that may be accessed by mobile users should always consider responsive (dynamically resizable) frameworks. A responsive site ensures a website’s content is comfortably viewable on smaller screen sizes. It allows you to build websites that work equally well on all devices. View our in-depth discussion on responsive web design here.
2. Network Speeds and Data Plans:
Designers also need to consider mobile devices’ slower network speeds and limited data plans — it’s thus beneficial to limit the number of HTTP requests a device must process by decreasing the size and number of files you send to the mobile device.
3. Links and Image Placement:
Touch-reliant user interfaces are only effective if the user can easily select targets without accidentally tapping other targets. Designers must be conscious of the size and spacing of interactive elements, such as links and enlargeable pictures. This means that elements shouldn’t be too small or too close together.
It is crucial to the success of your website, that the mobile web browsing experience is both functional and natural. Implementing responsive designs, testing websites on mobile devices, and prioritizing the location of content are just some of the steps you need to take to ensure that mobile users have beneficial and satisfactory browsing experiences.
¹Gartner Press Release: “Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2013” http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2209615