Making Your Website Mobile Friendly

Now that Internet-equipped phones are becoming a vital part of everyday life, more and more users are going to websites using their phones. Mobile web allow users to view web pages with different dimensions than a standard laptop or desktop monitor and uses on-screen keys and touchscreen buttons instead of a traditional keyboard and mouse. Mobile web has come a long way from the first mobile browsers which had very limited capabilities. Nowadays, modern phones, like the iPhone, allow users to view the same version of the website that those using a desktop would see with full layout. The way that users interact with each page may be different but the content remains the same. In 2011, there were more than 5.6 billion mobile phone users in the world. That is nearly 80 percent of the entire population. With those kinds of numbers, it’s imperative for web designers to develop mobile websites that are user-friendly and highly useful. The biggest issues found with mobile sites is the size of the screen and more restrictive design options compared to standard browsers. For an effective mobile site, some creative problem-solving skills are needed. Learn more about how to design an efficient user-friendly mobile website.

Website on a Computer vs. On a Phone

Understanding how the mobile web is different than the traditional computer web is important when creating a mobile website. Mobility brings about new opportunities for users but also challenges traditional web design. Mobile sites should have more visuals and minimal text to give the reader instant gratification. Since the screen size of a phone is small compared to a computer, asking readers to enter information on their device should be kept to a minimum. Pre-filled forms, big buttons, and simple tasks are always preferred by mobile users.


Mobile Design Layout, Navigation and Usability

As mobile design transforms into the next major Internet platform, it is now becoming easier to browse the web from nearly anywhere. Take into account that effective layout, navigation, and usability are key to a useful mobile site. Horizontal scrolling is not possible on many mobile browsers. Therefore, you should create flexible designs that prevent horizontal scrolling and break longer content into sections. For user-friendliness, navigation on a mobile site should include large buttons with extra spacing and padding for easier clicking, fewer options to keep things simple and use of the button-style design over standard text links.


Color

Many web designers overlook the importance of color use in mobile web design. Not all colors show up well on a mobile phone, making readability plummet. One option is to duplicate the colors used for your desktop website for your mobile site and adjust as needed. Designers must remember that mobile screens are not as powerful as a desktop monitor and can only display a limited range of colors. Mobile phone screens also have limited contrast and shallow color depth. It’s best to work with only a few colors when designing a mobile site. Avoid gradients and stick with basic colors, such as blue, red, green, and yellow. In between colors, such as sky blue, may not display properly.


Graphics and Images

Visual quality contributes to both the usability and functionality of your mobile site. For example, certain color-palettes help enhance legibility, as well as readable fonts and font sizes. While graphics and images on a mobile website are beneficial, they should be limited. Lots of graphics or images that are too large can take too long to load on mobile phones. Use images and graphics as little as possible or only when contextually relevant. When you do put graphics on a mobile site, ensure that they are in .GIF, .JPEG, or .PNG format as these are the most lightweight. Be sure to properly size and compress your images so that the user does not have to zoom to view them.