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Three Things to Remember When Designing a Mobile Site


Gartner Research estimates that by 2013, a lot more people would be using mobile devices, tablets and smartphones to access the Internet.  That means that a lot of people would be seeing your website on their mobile phones.  The good news is that you can have your current site displayed on mobile screens. The bad news is that if you just let people look at the desktop version of your websites, then chances are they are thinking what an ugly site you have.  Worse, the experience just might turn them off and make them leave your site.

It is really important to optimize your website to make it display properly on mobile screens.  You really do not have to redesign from scratch, but take note of these three important reminders:

1. Mind your load times.  If you serve up a website that is meant for desktops on a mobile phone, then you are doing your mobile visitor a discourtesy.  It will take a long time for the site to finish loading, because of the images and the scripts that you use for your desktop website.  Remember that mobile data connections are usually slower and more intermittent than the broadband connections we have at home.

Test your mobile site to make sure that everything loads fast.  Optimize your mobile site so that you only include small graphics if they are absolutely necessary.   Minimize scripts and graphics that would just add to the time it takes to load your site.

2. Mind your readability.  Another pitfall of directing mobile visitors to your desktop website is that the text are often too small to read.  You could also suffer from the lower color resolutions that some mobile phones have.

If you have a mobile optimized site, you are sure that your mobile visitors could easily read your content and not have eye strain from trying to read text that are too small or have low contrast with the background.

3. Don’t make anything fixed.  From font size to table widths, to page width, make sure that you use percentage rather than specifying a pixel.  This would help you ensure that your site would look pretty good no matter what mobile device or what screen size is used to view your mobile site.

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