Tablets, smartphones, laptops… work, errands, and entertainment are all part of daily mobile functioning! Whereas people were once chained to their desks (ahhh the 90’s), consumers today compute and converse on portable devices.

 

Smartphone users spend an average of 2 hours and 42 minutes a day on their mobile devices! That’s a huge chunk of time! And because smartphone use is so ubiquitous, it’s imperative that your business have a mobile-design game plan! In order to stay competitive in the current market, you must take into consideration the way people consume information, shop, and interact!

 

Designing for Mobile Versus the Typical Webpage

 

Not all screens and devices are created equal. Here are some things to keep in mind:

 

  • Screen size and screen orientation
  • Physical Input
  • Pixel Density
  • External Inputs
  • Variations Between OS Versions
  • Differences Between Android, Apple, and Microsoft

 

Take into consideration important mobile-development steps and ask the right questions. For example, how will your app or mobile site use the smartphone’s processing speeds and resources? Furthermore, how will you conduct trial runs for your new, mobile business model? One solution…

 

Consider Responsive Design

 

What is it, exactly? Well, responsive design is a particular approach to website creation that utilizes flexible images and layouts. It’s goal is to build web pages that adjust according to the user’s screen size/orientation. In other words, responsive design can tell whether you’re checking your favorite website on your smartphone or computer, and it will tailor the site to achieve maximum readability and functionality! Not too shabby!

 

Other Options

 

If you decide against responsive design, you can either opt for a mobile version site or a non-optimized site. We would strongly caution against the later option. If your site is not fit to be viewed on a smartphone or tablet, it could greatly decrease customer satisfaction, web traffic, and even revenue.

 

Use java script and complicated graphics cautiously. These elements can really bog down your site and cause frustration for app/website users. If at all possible, integrate the phone’s existing functionality into your design. For example, if it is appropriate, utilize the built in camera, GPS, the microphone, and tap recognition. These small touches will make the user experience much more enjoyable. If possible, study successful existing interfaces and platforms. This doesn’t make your site boring; it just makes it smart.

 

Tools of the Trade

 

There are many wonderful apps and tools that will allow you to create an artful, mobile design.  

Proto.io is a mobile platform that allows users to build and deploy mobile app simulations. It runs in most browsers and boasts several interfaces. Origami by Facebook is another option.

 

Liveview helps you see how your mobile site will appear before it goes live, and Sketch is a graphic-design tool that’s especially adept at mobile! Finally, Imageoptim will help you compress large images without losing the quality and richness of larger images.

 

What do you say?

 

Have we convinced you that you need a special, mobile strategy? Sound off in the comments and give your designing tips.