Statistics show that there are more than 6 billion mobile phone users in the whole world. And what is more interesting is that most of them use some kind of smart phone or other handheld devices to access the internet.
The number is rising every moment and one study reveals that many people from the developing nations and underdeveloped nations have their first internet experience through their mobile phones. So that makes the bottom line that web pages need to have a mobile friendly version or a mobile website for best results. It is very clear that mobile internet and mobile website is not just a passing fad, but it is here to stay.
Here are some suggestions to design and build your mobile website to work and run successfully.
The easiest way to do build your mobile website is to modify and existing one. Mobile websites need special procedures for designing, and making them compatible for handhelds will be easier while modifying a present website.
1. DESIGN AND LAYOUT:
Browsing through mobile phone is time consuming and also data consuming. So it is better to keep the important informations on top of the page. This is to ensure that the mobile user can have a glimpse of the most important info at a glance, as the screens of the handhelds are small compared to the other systems.
· Also keep in mind to add customized logo for mobile sets.
· Use CSS for layout to ensure maximum compatibility.
· Different handhelds have different screen size, so using “fluid” layout can be the best option.
· Character encoding set if done at UTF-8 can be better than XML or XHTML.
· Minimize using tables, use at the most two columns.
· Avoid row-column merging.
· Try using single column format.
· Minimize left-right navigation.
The information on the page should be easy to read. It should also be easy to navigate. Most visitors tend to surf internet through handheld on the go, so it is very necessary to keep the content to the point and engaging. Also font color and sizing should be taken care of.
Make sure that you know the purpose of the business or the website. Also take care of the target audience while developing content for the site.
Using low res images or refraining from using images or graphics is a good idea. The bandwidth or the connectivity takes a lot of time for these to be downloaded and displayed on the mobile sets. Moreover many sets have some or the other issues with graphic file types or animations. It is better to keep the page light in weight for fast access, as most users tend to turn off the page if it takes too long to load.
· Use compression of files to avoid zooming.
· Use light weight files/images in case you have to.
· Use universal image files that can be opened in any browser.
· Use ALT text as many users turn off images to save data download.
4. PAGE SIZE & LINKS:
It is very important to keep the pages simple and sizes small. Since users are charged or billed as per the size of the pages, it is good to keep page sizes small. This also helps in downloading the pages faster.
Use back buttons and links in your pages. This is to avoid dead ends and also facilitate users whose phones might not have back buttons.
Try testing your mobile website on as many devices as possible. Using web based emulators to view the pages and also some developer SDK for the platform will be good.
Providing interaction feedback will always be good for your site. It will not only help you understand the viewer’s needs but also understand some problems faced by the users. This will surely help to streamline your design and contents. Also you can use options of “tappable” instead of “clickable” as most smartphones these days are touch screened ones.
These will be fine enough to make your mobile website usable and efficient for mobile web users.
About The Author: Claudia is a writer/blogger. She loves writing travelling and reading books. She contributes in World Financial Group