Mobile browsing is the next big thing as these days people have an access to internet via phones so why make an effort to go to your desktop for browsing. Browsing through phones is getting easier day by day because of the immense popularity it has gained. This is exactly why all the famous websites are coming up with a mobile version of their website so that users can have an access to their website without any hassle.
If you are a designer, you must be aware of the fact that designing a normal website is a lot different than Mobile web design. A normal website’s homepage consists of a lot of tabs, links etc. the mobile version of your website should be simpler, precise and task based. When a user is browsing via mobile, he would definitely want things to be quick, to the point and urgent. Mobile designs should be concise and to the point. Similar to a flyer printing run, all the necessary information should be included without too much clutter.
You must be thinking that staying too specific while designing a mobile layout might make your website look boring. This is exactly where you have chance to test your designing and creative abilities. Since you will be having less space, it is entirely up to your designing skills to make the most out of that space but remember, you should still be able to keep things interesting for a user. There is another complication that you have to go through; compatibility of your website with all mobile devices. It does not matter how great your website looks on a mobile device if it is not functional. You should be able to design and code your website in a way that it looks good on every phone instead of displaying different results on different mobile devices.
Following are a few tips that can help you in designing a website which would be accessible through mobile devices by users of any mobile device.
A Balanced Screen Resolution
Honestly speaking, designing a mobile version for website is not at all an easy task because of the variations available in mobile devise these days. Every mobile seem to have different resolution and screen size so coming up with a balance resolution is the key to success. The first thing you need to is research on the current available devices and their specifications.
Once you have learned about them, you can come up with a balanced resolution which is best according to your own judgment. It is not going to be easy to come up with a single display for all mobile devices as mobile developers have to create different pages for different platforms which will obviously increase your workload a lot.
Find out the most popular resolutions of mobile devices in the current year and work on them. For instance 320×240 is a resolution used for blackberry devices, android devices and Symbian phones. There is wide range of resolutions available as well for instance, 480×360, 480×800 etc. you need to find a perfect one for your website.
Like Small Meals, Divide Your Pages into Small Portions
Lengthy texts are hard to read on mobile screens so you need to divide the content of your website into small portions. Avoid designing a website on which user has to scroll the pages horizontally. For instance, if you are designing a mobile version of a printing company’s website, divide the products page into sub-divisions like flyers, brochures, postcards, business cards, posters, booklets, rack cards, calendars etc.
In order to place content you need to divide content according to high priority and low priority. You can display important headings on the main page and in order to read the complete article, user can click on the link which will redirect him to another page. Homepage of a mobile version should be simple and precise.
Keep Things as Simple as You Can
Mobile users are not interested in seeing graphics and over the top creativity. They need a website which is easy to use and comfortable to navigate. So, keep things as simple as possible and avoid usage of tables and any other type of complex formatting. So, simplifying is the key to have a successful mobile version.
Allow Users to View Full Website
Apart from providing a mobile version, there should always be an option to view the full version of the website so that users can take a look at all the features your website has to offer. Full view website might come across as a little complicated on mobile due to the horizontal and vertical scrolling so in order to make things easier for such users, provide a ‘back to top’ link so that they can go back to the top page and switch back to mobile version if they want.
Positioning of Tabs
If you really want to satisfy your users, you need to understand the way their mind works. It also depends on the kind of website you have. You need to find out the way users will prefer while navigating your website. The main tabs and headlines should always be at the top of page. Also, if the visitor wants to take a look at new content instantly then you should place your navigation menu below the page. It should be all about correct placement of navigation bar.
Avoid Graphic Links
Your main website can contain anything and everything but your mobile website cannot allow you all this. Do not use images for links in a mobile version. Prefer text links because other links will require resources. Also, users will have to see a tough time because other links takes a lot of time in downloading. When it comes to a mobile version, you should go for text links.
Highlighting the Selected Link
As soon as you scroll down a website in a mobile, it highlights all the links which makes it difficult for a user to distinguish between the selected link and other links. You need to design a website in a way so that it can differentiate the selected tab. You can simple change the font color of the link which is in focus or you can add some padding around links.
Striking a Balance in Links
We all know that if we are browsing through mobile, we will have limited system resources. You should design a website while keeping this important point in mind. Make sure you balance links rather than making your user suffer by going through numerous pages to find the correct one. You need to keep a balance in between the number of links on pages.
Less Text Entry
Your user should not be forced to write a lot of text in mobile versions. Obviously they don’t have proper keyboards while using a cell phone so avoid anything which will increase the user text entry. You can simply list the important things so that they can select and click instead of writing an entire link. Not only this, keep the URL simple and short for mobile users.
Avoid Pop Ups
While using a desktop, pop-up ads can be really annoying. When it comes to a mobile version, they get a little more annoying. Mobile browsers do not support pop ups so try not have them in mobile versions. Also, avoid any kind of automatic refreshes and allow the user to refresh the page whenever he wants.
Keeping things simple is the way to go. Avoid any complexities in a mobile version. A simple mobile website is something users will love. They can go through multiple pages to find the desired information on a desktop but not on a mobile so keep things easy for them.