Mobile Web Design Trends and Best Practices

Web designers are well aware of the fact that the industry is in the process of continuous progress and adaptation and specialization of skills is required in order to remain in touch with the modern technology. Recently a huge amount of change has been noticed in the field of internet services because now the users can access it through the mobile devices.

Consequently there is a need for the web designers to be well equipped in this arena and the web designers must be able to design websites that satisfy these customers. Different mobiles have come up in the market with different screen sizes and they differ from those of desktops and therein come the mobile designers potential as to how he is to convince the browsers because the mobile user’s environmental status is different from that of the laptop owners.

One needs to keep in mind before he designs websites for the mobiles that he has to confront with a lot of challenges and he should develop a strategic outlook from the designer and developer point of view. This article will help you learn the present trends, tips and challenges and will also provide you with a showcase of mobile websites. Further the given article is an important source for the newbie’s who are interested to design mobiles.

1. Simple options

The vital aspect of the mobile websites includes the scale down properties made available to the customers. Consider for example the mobile home page of Digg which reflects just 17 lucid headlines and links. It also has very few navigation choices. The key is the simplest functional tool whereby the mobile websites can be operated. However the visitors must be intelligent to surf the prime pages first because the mobile screen reveals less space and sometimes the net services are very slow.

Well in this age of jumbled up pages, a clumsy mobile website is not preferred! The simple option allows a user to become handier with the mobile networking via internet but the main point here is to cut the immaterial stuff out.

2. White space

White space is an important criterion for good web designing and it is actually a challenge for the designer because out here the visitor is connected the most. The screen size being tiny makes us think about the necessity for a white space while designing a mobile. A confused website would create a negative imprint on the mind of the user. A number of websites comprises of plenty of white space and they prove very helpful and are easy to use. You can get a lot of knowledge in this respect through the websites reflected in the gallery or in the factual world scenarios or in your mobile hand set!

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3. Lack of images

The designers are free to use things like bandwidth-hogging video and images with a high speed internet at their disposal. The wish of a visitor is to view images on desktops or on their laptops and thus images are used in ample amount. But you must remember that their must be minimal possible use of images in the mobile version because they do more harm than good.

We find in the market a number of mobile net connections of various speeds and they also differ for prices. It becomes difficult for the visitors to visualize images as the screen is small and the matter is hard to read. Just for this purpose you can see fewer pictures in mobile web designing. Nowadays smart phones are cropping up with big screens and speedy connections wherein there lays more scope to use images but still there are customers who are not using these handsets and for them it is advisable to go for a design that uses less images.

4. Subdomains instead of .mob or separate domains

In the present scenario the mobiles are designed in a way so that they have a separate folder on their primary domain. These subdomains are of great help as they do not perplex the visitors and maintain things neatly in one particular domain. They do not spread things around! Recently the mobile versions of websites at different addresses like mobile.example.com coupled with many other lines have flooded the market of mobile phones.

5. Prioritized content

The web designers should design the mobile keeping in mind the visitors or the users. The content plays a pivotal role because the visitors are deeply interested in it. No doubt, the plain pages and the simple options make it easy for the users to go through the matter shown. Sometimes the visitor’s choice is kept aside, especially when it comes to commercial purposes because it involves stuffs that are insignificant for the viewers. Consider for example the banner advertisements which are now universally accepted by the internet industry. The mobile websites are free of advertisements. The common masses who regularly visit the mobile website pay great heed to the content material.

In the path of web designing, designers face certain hurdles which they need to overcome in order to make a prospective mobile website. You would possibly face these following challenges if you have made up your mind to design mobiles:

Variety of screen sizes

The web designers meet with various screen size problems and their consequent results but particularly the mobile designers face a variety of challenges as it is different from dealing with different kinds of desktop monitors! The designers are at ease to deal with the problems that arouse out of the different screen sizes of the desktop monitors but it needs a specialized skill to handle the screen size problems of mobiles. Mobile technology is frequently developing and so are screen sizes. No doubt the designers now are lucky because primarily the modern mobile devices are having big screens but the older ones are still in existence. With the demand of the iPhones and its competitors in the market, the recent trend is towards big screens.

Lack of understanding

You need to have proper knowledge in this field before you step into mobile designing. A good amount of research in this realm is required lest you might land up into problem. Always remember that it’s a new form of designing and if you have not interacted with mobile browsers and visitors in your earlier design work then the present one might get affected! The designers must understand that the environment of the mobile browsers is quite different from that of the desktop browsers. He should be aware of these technicalities before entering the field of mobile designing. A well equipped mobile designer ultimately launches a product in the market which is widely appreciated and the product reveals his know-how!

Rapid change

Technology changes every now and then and mobile web technology is no exception to it. Therefore the need arises for the web designers to study the market situations and develop the designs according to it. The mobile web designers similarly need to be alert regarding the mobile technology changes and ultimately launch a product which the modern scenario demands. The designer needs to be more focused and work according to the changing circumstances; he has to remember the key points pertaining to the tastes of the mobile browsers and learn to keep pace with the change graph lest he will face a tough competition by his business partners.

Testing challenges

The desktop designing involves challenges which are different from those of mobile web designing. The prime challenge in the mobile designing includes the different forms of mobile phones in use. The following methods would help you test challenges relating to it. Simple mobile websites makes testing convenient because there are negligible chances of going wrong. A proper design and well organized testing ensures that the website will be shown properly and its importance lies on the fact it can be used on a vast number of mobile devices.

The mobile version needs to be tested first before they are released in the market. Certain things that needs to be kept in mind while testing the mobile version are as follows –

By disabling the CSS/images that are contained in the site as the mobile versions doesn’t support them heavily. This would replicate an environment that is closely associated with the mobiles and can be a good tool to test its layout and functionality.

Also another mode might be to use the Opera browser and using the ‘View’ and ‘small screen’ menu options which takes you to a narrow screen which again recreates the look and feel of the mobile site.

Deciding on what is essential

Deciding what is necessary is important for the website designer to decide specifically the content. The websites highlight the essential elements. The simpler the stuff, images or videos, the easier it is to decide the essentials. However one must keep in mind the mobile visitor’s status. Some queries are needed to be considered regarding the browsers. For example what they are doing presently?

What is the reason behind their surfing net at that time? What is their interest in doing so? You have to keep in mind that the objectives of the desktop browsers differ from those of the mobile visitors. So the priority part of the process is important for any web designer and it helps the mobile web designer also to categorize the significant matter from that of the trivial ones while imparting a designer look to the mobile!

While looking at the above challenges it is advisable that the designers developing such mobile based sites give proper thought to them. We can have a much optimized mobile site if the designers face the above challenges head on and find the required solutions.

Examples of Mobile Web Design

Autoricambi

Arriva Bus

Visit Tampa Bay

Democracy Now

Cruise Saint Lawrence

Moire Marketing

Digiti

Mcipollini

Dot Slash

Velirium

St. Louis Community Credit Union

Hire Kenny

Alpern Rosenthal

ESPN

Staples

Quaintology

Vanderbilt

Checkers

Flu Awareness

Hoogdesign

Volvo

Jet Aviation

Republic.co.uk

Mad Mobile

Timberline Lodge

Glucone

Pieper & Associates

Jon Gordon

Audi A7 Bold Design

Victoria’s Secret – Wedding

Movies.com

Chevrolet

Mitsubishi Motors Sweden

Omaha Steaks

Cleartrip

House of Fraser

Nordic Ruby

Sea Doo

Take Me Fishing

Travel Tex

Lapse, Zachary J. Miller

Collage Creative

Creative Edge

Victoria’s Secret – Valentine’s Day

Stuart Weitzman

Vivacitas

Denon Graphic

CAT Rental Store

Yyoga

Enfamil

Hormel

Yiibu

I Want that Flight

Siblify

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8 Comments
  1. Marcell Purham Jul 26, 10:30 pm

    Very good post. I tend to see alot of people wanting mobile website design for their current website.

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  2. Ava Miller Jul 27, 11:57 am

    I think you are right but now a days it’s important that you need to be professional, so it’s not a matter of design platform. but you have to know about SEO and SEM when you are designing a site for your client. It boost site ranking and get more traffic on site. so improve business. our ultimate goal is business.

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    • Adrian Jul 27, 12:03 pm

      Mobile web design is friendly for search engines. And visitor from social media site love to read from ipad or iphone in good format of site.

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  3. Ryan Jul 27, 7:17 pm

    Thanks for sharing these great examples with us. There is a lot of work that goes into making a site and to have your site put on as an example must be great for them.

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  4. Karl Jul 28, 2:09 am

    Wow, thanks a lot for this. These are great examples of Mobile websites. Mobile websites are going to explode in popularity in the coming years. Web design agencies better get on board :)

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  5. Tom Doyle Jul 28, 11:43 pm

    Great piece, particularly love the examp, most les you’ve given. Some really nice ones there!
    I wish more companies would take this seriously. Most haven’t got a mobile site yet!

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  6. Asif Aug 1, 9:50 pm

    What a great collection for mobile design trends. Wonderful work!

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  7. S. P. Lee Apr 8, 6:13 pm

    Thanks for the article. I just want to point out that, a “sub-domain” means an url in this format: “mobile.example.com”. An URL link this: “www.example.com/folder name/” is not a sub-domain… Want to point this out, in case it create confusion when you need to communicate folder setup with your server admin team… IT guys are usually very strict with terminology.
    Thanks

    Reply
    +2

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