Internet initially was just used as point-to-point communication, later it became the quickest platform for communication and today Internet is THE versatile platform for people around the world. Anything is possible with Internet. World has really become a global village and the seven continents are melding into one because of this versatile platform. You can now talk with your friend, find information for your research, shop across countries, join forums of your interest, earn money or start a business and pretty much live online! With Internet becoming so flexible, the device to access Internet has also advanced over the years. Earlier, Internet could be accessed only through PCs after which came the laptops and the concept of ‘portable Internet’. Today, Internet is in the palm of our hands through our mobile devices.
With Internet available on mobile phones, it has become extremely important for web designers to create websites compatible to mobile platforms. Here are few tips to optimize your website for a mobile device:
Channelize the content:
When mobile users access your website, what information would you like them to see first? Mostly when users surf the net, they are looking for key pieces of information. Keep your text to the minimal and get to the point instead of writing on and on about the history of your company. People don’t care when the company started or how well it has developed. They just want to know about the product or service. So, get to the point and provide only the information users commonly look for.
Create a simple site:
Though there are Apples and Samsung Galaxies, many still use the low-end phones for Internet. Given the restricted amount of space on mobile platforms, it is important to make maximum use of the space and at the same time ensure the design doesn’t look too cramped that it becomes difficult to navigate through the website on mobile platforms. Ensure the message is clear on the website and is not overwhelmed by the design. Here are few ways to keep the design simple:
- Keep the sub-pages to the minimum.
- Make sure the layout has a set pattern.
- Don’t make the sight cluttered with confusing options.
Ensure the mobile website matches the branding components:
Though your mobile website will be more straight-forward than your standard website, try incorporating all the branding components you have used in your standard website. People who know your company will feel they are in familiar grounds when they open your website. It also promotes and reflects your brand and people will not get confused.
Make use of white space:
The first thing many do is cram a website with as much information (and completely unnecessary) as possible. It gives a cleaner appearance to your website and people can navigate more freely without spending too much time on trying to find information. It also makes sure users can easily click on the buttons they are looking for.
Avoid text-based entries:
People with big fingers might find it hard to optimally use the smart phone keyboard. Try avoiding text-based entries and try including checklists, drop-downs or other pre-populated fields in place of text entries. This makes it easier for the users at the same time finish things faster.
A big NO to pop-up window:
The mobile screen is the size of a pop-up window, if you are going to introduce one on a mobile platform it is going to be hard for a user to see the information written on the pop-up window. It can also slow down the loading time of a page. Give them proper navigational directions without these pop-up windows.
Use redirects for mobile platforms:
Use redirects that can automatically find users accessing your website through a mobile device and redirects them to use the mobile-optimized version. Once you get the redirects in place, a user will be immediately directed towards the mobile optimized version of your website. With redirections, you don’t have to create new websites supporting mobile platforms. You can simply have them in place for those users who log into your website using mobile phones.
These are few things you can consider whole designing a website that supports mobile platforms. Today, with more and more people accessing Internet via hand-held devices, it has become mandatory to create alternate websites supporting these devices!
This is a guest post by Ann Phillip of globalx.net, a site that offers savings and current information on dish tv packages.