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Web Design for the Small Screen

Accessing the web from cell phones is growing today with great strides in enhancing the mobile user experience. The mobile technology is mounting exponentially with efficient browsers on basic cell phones and increased use of tablets and smartphones. Businesses need to design mobile websites for smaller screens while considering device features, limitations and connectivity issues.

Analyze the Need for a Mobile Website Design

As a business owner, you need to fish out your target audience from the 91.4 million mobile internet users (US). You need to figure out why people access websites from smartphones; is it for purchasing a product or service or obtaining information. You then need to clarify your purpose of having a mobile website; creating brand awareness or earning revenue through online sales. Moreover, it is important that you identify the content and functionality that your mobile users would be looking forward to. This would help in deciding whether you need a mobile website design or could do away with optimizing your desktop site for easy accessibility of information.

Create a Mobile Web Design Specifically for Your User

A user centric design revolves around the user in the web design and development process. Web designers need to understand the user completely to create a website that would provide utility to them. It would be better if a research is done on users to find out the reasons they use a mobiles site for, the features they use, the devices they use the mobile website from, and what aspects annoy them.

Decide On the Features to Offer through Your Mobile Website

You need to carefully assess the features that you would provide your users with on the mobile website. The business goals that were earlier decided and the primary research carried out on user requirements should be matched to see what features provide value to the users. This is the essence of a user centric design. If there are many features, you need to prioritize them according to the resources you have and the time and effort that you will have to put in.

Invest Time in the Mobile Website Design Process

The mobile website designing process is similar to that of designing for desktops with a few important mobile considerations. Mobile users are not sitting comfortably browsing your website; they are people on the go who might be multi-tasking with Twitter, music and browsing at the same time. The mobile user context is filled with distractions from the environment such as sub-optimal lighting, poor connectivity and motion. The range of small screen sizes complicates resolutions and the resulting website sizes which can be solved by investing in responsive web designs. The mobile user does not have a mouse for pointing and clicking rather tiny keypads for navigation. Mobile web designers should simplify navigation by reducing categories, adding obvious links, and having optimum tap size. They should also include only important content, minimize user input requirements, and consider mobile connectivity speeds when developing a mobile website design. Web designers should ensure the mobile websites create an integrated and consistent user experience across all communication channels.

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