Challenges of Designing For Mobile

Websites have been around for many years and are usually viewed on a desktop computer, laptop or a tablet computer. But there is another way they are accessed which is via mobile phones or smartphones.

Increased mobile usage

More and more people are viewing websites on mobile phones and this has been increasing exponentially over the last few years. In fact it is increasing to the point where it may overtake the traditional forms of access such as via a desktop or laptop.

Which is good news for mobile phone manufacturers who are developing phones with a wide range of applications (or apps), faster connections and even a few enhancements such as augmented reality.

As internet access improves this will result in a greater uptake than before which corresponds to increased usage of mobile phones in general. This is set to continue.

Mobile website design

As a result of this, web designers and internet marketing companies are providing mobile web services alongside their current offerings. They recognise the power of mobile web and have responded to this by building websites which are 'mobile friendly' and will work on all types of phones.

There are several challenges in building mobile websites which include:

- Screen space

- Button size

- Size of content

- Navigation

- Only one window at a time can be opened

- Broken or compresses pages

As you can see there are a few issues designers face when building websites for mobile devices. Some of these are down to the limitations of the device, e.g. small screen.

But most of these can be overcome as mobile technology advances over time. Plus a bit of forethought and understanding about how people will view a website on a mobile or smartphone will resolve these.

Mobile web best practices

Organisations such as W3C have developed a set of guidelines or 'best practices' for using mobile web. These are similar to guidelines for traditional websites in that they advise developers on ways of ensuring that people can access information on mobile websites quickly, easily and safely.

But what has to be considered is the person's experience of using a mobile website or the 'user experience'. A pleasant, satisfying experience is likely to be repeated which is the aim of any designer.

So an ideal mobile website will consist of a simple, clean design, concise, readable content, easy to click objects and minimal scrolling.

And don't forget about costs and speed for your customers. Ensure that your site loads quickly and is small enough to avoid expensive roaming charges. If your customers have to pay a hefty amount when abroad to access your site due to its size then expect a high bounce rate.

Remember to test your mobile website and make changes based upon the results or from customer feedback.

Adaptive Consultancy is an online marketing company who specialise in website design, eCommerce, and internet marketing, including SEO, PPC and SMO.

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