Key considerations for businesses looking to go
Optimising your website for mobiles is a growing trend, but there are several
important considerations, both in terms of justification and design, that
businesses need contemplate before starting a project. We’ve select our favourite
five from a great article by those clever people at Mashable.
1. Define Your Need for a Mobile Site
Usually a mobile website design project comes about through one of the following
- It’s a brand new website in need of both a desktop and mobile strategy.
- It’s a redesign of an existing website, which will include a new mobile site.
- It’s an addition of a mobile site to an existing desktop site, which won’t be
2. Consider the Business Objectives
What are the business objectives as they relate to the website, specifically the
mobile site? As with any design, you’ll need to prioritize these objectives, then
communicate that hierarchy in your design. When translating your design to
mobile, you’ll need to take this a step further and focus on just a couple of top
priority objectives for the business.
3. Simplicity Is Golden, But …
As a general rule of thumb when converting a desktop site design to mobile
format, you want to simplify things wherever possible. Keeping file size and load
times down is always a good idea for a mobile site.
Usability considerations on the mobile web also call for a simplified approach to
design, layout, and navigation. With less screen real estate at your disposal, you
need to choose your placement of elements wisely. In short: Less is more.
4. Provide Interaction Feedback
Speaking of interaction, you’ll need to make sure you provide obvious feedback
for any actions that occur on the front-end of your mobile site.
For example, when the user taps a link or button, it’s good practice to have that
button visually change states to indicate it has been tapped and the action has
been initiated. It’s common to see a white-coloured link turn fully blue on the
iPhone when tapped. This visual feedback is familiar to most users and you’d be
wise to take advantage of it.
5. Test Your Mobile Website
As with any project, you’ll need to test your mobile website on as many devices
as possible. Without owning all these devices, it can be somewhat tricky to find
ways to accurately test for each. It will involve a combination of installing the
developer SDK for the platform (like the iPhone SDK and Android SDK) and using
web-based emulators for viewing other mobile platforms.