Are You Marketing on Mobile? Mobile Website Design Checklist for 2014
At most, it’s expected you’ve already read or heard what’s often cited as important qualities to include when developing your mobile web design for marketing your business. Speed and user-friendliness are answers that programmers casually give. No contest about that, except giving the best mobile web experience entails much more than that. Here to help you in your mobile web development journey is our step-by-step mobile website design checklist for 2014.
Mobile Web Trends: Now and Tomorrow
Not a few decades ago, no one’s complaining about browsing on their desktop before laptops arrived. Back in the old desktop web days, we also talk of similar requirements – speed, user-friendliness, usability, compelling content and more of the likes – that users need for the better web experience. Until the last couple of years when mobile computing arrived. Thanks to the revolutionary spell of the iPhone from Apple, which arguably started it all.
Several iPhone and Android iterations later, many people embraced their smartphones and use it more frequently over their laptops or desktops more than ever. Albeit its petite screen, smartphones became the preferred gadget to browse the Internet, purchase new clothes or stocks, and watch cat or the latest Jimmy Kimmel prank videos. People were delighted by the then novelty of smartphones and what it can deliver anytime, anywhere on the go.
Brands and companies soon notice the gradual shift of user preference in accessing the Internet. Today, we have web designs specifically set for the small screen of smartphones and tablet devices. By having their own mobile web design presence, businesses found a new way that will enable them connect with customers and drive revenues.
But the early releases of mobile web designs while scrupulous at best, were failing to impress the more demanding and fickle-minded users. In the mobile age, consumers have become more demanding about what they get for. Users seem hard to please more and more and some even lament mobile web experience that does not align with the speed and optimal performances of their smartphone’s hardware.
All these are hardly surprising, and what we can offer is making the mobile web design experience better. An informal talk to our programmers about what important steps in the creation of mobile site design reveal so much for us to ponder.
Step 1: Deciding Mobile Web Design Approach to Use
Before you arrive with a strategy, pay attention to understanding who your target audience. One way you can figure that out is by looking over the web statistics or analytics tool provided by Google. Gauge which of your audience activity are coming from smartphones, what devices they are using, what mobile operating system.
After arriving at a benchmark, prepare your mobile web design development strategy. Are you more interested in designing a mobile-ready website, whose focus is on a minimal fixed layout design? Or, it is a fixed layout mobile web design you are gunning to design, whereby there’s one or more fixed dimension columns in pixels unit type?
Mobile-ready websites are often argued not the most ideal in delivering the best mobile experience. However, this might be appealing to some users who want a full site experience. With fixed layout mobile website design, on the other hand, will appeal to users who prefer simpler and more effective mobile web browsing.
Another mobile web technique is called adaptive web design. By using the multiple sets of fixed layout styles, you get a mobile website design that delivers more device-friendly views that minimizes wasted screen space. But there’s a downside with adaptive, developers will have to design and maintain more screen resolutions.
Last, the responsive web design, which entails that development be focused on providing an optimal viewing experience. A responsive web design that’s done right can render your website well across all devices and it’s also easily up-gradable from Fluid Layouts. Its downsides range from being getting too tricky to develop for more complex websites and the accompanying higher design and maintenance cost.
Step 2 – Ensuring Mobile Web Speed
One critical consideration to provide optimal website experience for mobile use is speed. But how fast is fast? There is not a single way to send resources optimized for smartphone devices, we just learned after we talk to our programmers on what important steps to follow in the creation of mobile site design.
Ensuring speed for mobile website design could mean making use of fewer resources, smaller resources, and closer to users. For the first two approaches entail consolidating or optimizing resources, namely script files, style sheets or CSS and images or sprites. Developers can also leverage CSS Media Queries for sending image resources optimally.
There is another option that can be adopted in speeding up the mobile website design experience, this is opposed to the earlier approaches of serving up static content from the web servers, which not only consume higher bandwidth and performance from servers, they are also unnecessarily away from users, resulting in higher latencies leading to bad session experiences.
Here is when taking the approach of closer to user a more appealing way to do it. This can be done by bringing static content to a Content Delivery Network (CDN), which may cost you few more bucks but there’s a huge gains relative to user experience.
Step 3 – Convenience of Using Website
With the so many challenges presented by developing and designing websites for mobile, there is one that continues to be endemic to this space – input. This makes it more urgent that mobile web design consider how users can conveniently move around their small screen, allowing for selected content to be selectable thorough a context-aware link.
Step 4 – Website that Feels Tailored for Mobile
Interaction design for mobile web should consider the context of mobile browsing, which is more touch-input dependent. Unlike in desktop browsing, mobile browsing has introduced us to how users move around their devices and hovering no longer stand a chance. So forget those difficult behaviors like tool tips, fly-out menus, drag and drop and right-clicks, and others. Keep in mind that mobile web design must be touch aware and leave behind designs that only weigh down the overall mobile web design experience.
After all that’s been said and done, the world will continue to see technology to get more and more sophisticated and advanced. Along the improvements in devices or hardware and software top ends, there will always be users who will use these devices and consume our services and products online.
Optimizing and mobilizing your website may be a herculean task to begin with, but improvements can be taken incrementally to let you improve on your previous mobile web design for users. To help you get started, talk to our programmers who can guide you about what important steps to take in the creation of mobile site design.