Creating a mobile version of your website
Whether you are in a quiet waiting room or a bustling restaurant, people around are mostly glued to their cell phones. Within the next five years, “More users will connect to the internet over mobile devices than desktop PCs,” says Morgan Stanley’s analyst Mary Meeker. With growing number of consumers browsing through web pages using their smart phones, it’s crucial for you to make your website accessible to these potential customers.
Let’s take a look into some prime aspects and techniques you can follow to have a clean and professional mobile version of your website.
Layout: Keep it simple
Mobile interfaces are usually small so a developer has to adjust in pre-defined dimensions. However, one column layout is the best option for the small screen. By using a one column layout, text and graphical buttons can be larger and therefore easier for the user to use. A trend of extensive mobile users is speed, therefore, the phenomena itself begs for simple and low-bandwidth user interfaces. So, keep graphics to minimum and make sure the size doesn’t exceed 2 KB of size!
Present the navigation differently
The navigation scheme is the most crucial part in mobile UI design, and it follows the same scheme as of layout i.e. keeping things simple and clear. The links to main pages or things on your website should always be included in the navigation bar which again needs to be placed at the top. Typing on most mobile devices using the small QWERTY or the virtual QWERTY is not easy to work with at all. Therefore, creating an easy navigation is the key aspect to making your website mobile friendly.
Reduce the amount of content
Mobile users are always on the go and while every pixel counts on mobile, managing content becomes a tedious task. It is always a good practice to cut down your content to some major value points, but at the same time provide users with a link to the main article containing all of your main content.
Footer: Make it clear
Don’t over load your website footer with hyper links. A copyright message for the footer works best for mobile websites!
It’s easier than you think
The propagation of mobile devices today has inspired many open source platforms such as Drupal, WordPress and SageFrame to provide tools or modules that helps you develop a mobile friendly with ease and convenience. For instance, SageFrame comes with a feature that allows you to set different page layouts for handheld devices. Once you have defined the page layout you can also plug and play with the layout by placing the available modules. An additional advantage of using such open source platform is the common CMS (Content Management System) for both your desktop and mobile site.