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6dec 2011

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10 Tips for Better Mobile Website Design

by in Technology, Web Development

We all know that mobile is the future of web. People like to stay connected on the move. This is why most companies are getting mobile versions of their websites. To help you create an attention grabbing mobile website design, here are 10 tips from our designing brains:

1. Decide the screen resolution
There are different screen sizes in the mobile world. Thus it is very important to strike the right balance between website measurements and screen size. The most challenging part is to display the website properly across various screen sizes.

This list would help to get the right screen resolution:


2. Divide the page into sections
If the pages of your mobile website are too long, it is best to break them into different pages so that users don’t have to scroll too much. Also, make use of word wrap so that there is only vertical scrolling.

3. Simplify design
The simpler it is, the more usable it would be. Do not include frames, tables, or other such formatting elements. If you do have to use padding, keep it to a minimum to allow more screen space. Though it is advisable to divide a long page into many pages, keep in mind that page loading speed is slower on mobile devices, so you have to maintain a balance between links and page length.

4. Give them an option
If your mobile visitors want to view the complete website, provide them an option for that. And since they would have to scroll a lot in the desktop version, add a ‘Back to the top’ link, so that they can jump up whenever they want to.

5. Navigation location
Understand your audience and what they want. Place the navigation menu below your content if your visitors want to see changing content. Make sure that the headline is visible, and does not get in the way of other things.

6. Make use of text links
Your main site might have glitzy fly out menus or fancy widgets, but your mobile website should have simple and plain text links. Since graphical links and dynamic elements consume a lot of resources, well-labeled text hyperlinks are the best option.

7. Highlight the link in focus
When you move your cursor down, it would scroll the page, and all the links would be highlighted. Thus it is very important that there is some mechanism to tell the user about the highlighted link. It could be done by changing the background color and fonts of buttons and links when they are highlighted. Other idea is to make the clickable area a bit larger.

8. Balance your links
Since loading of pages is slow on mobile platforms, do not force your visitors to dig through a lot of links to find the right information and resources.

9. Reduce text entry
Since it is hard to enter text through mobiles (they don’t have the conventional keyboard), it is best to replace that with lists and radio buttons wherever possible.  It is also a good idea to keep short URLs. Let’s say a user wants to directly visit an inner page of your website. It would be easier for him if the URL is short.

10. No automatic refreshes
Since mobile browsers don’t support pop ups, it is best to avoid them. Also, frequent page refreshing would fill up the memory too soon. Let your users refresh the page whenever they want.