If you want your site to fit in your pocket, it should be tailored to fit. A responsive web design is the best fit for most websites. However, in unique situations, when the user goals and content are strategically different on a mobile device, the best solution is to produce a separate mobile presence.
If you build one site for full-size users and another for mobile devices, the site can automatically detect how your visitor is seeing the site, and then send them to the correct version. Mobile web design is about building another version of your site by adapting the design, content, and features.
A mobile device has about one tenth as many pixels as a regular screen. And since form follows function, the mobile site needs it’s own design. The design should be simpler. Here are a few ways that the design of the mobile site can be adapted:
If writing for websites is about being brief and to-the-point, writing for mobile sites is even more so. If visitors are unlikely to read a large blocky paragraph on a big screen, they’re even less likely to read it on the tiny screen in their hand.
Shorten your copy. Turn your sections into single pages. Turn your paragraphs into sentences. Edit, then edit again. Be brief.
Fortunately, managing the content on your mobile site is easy. Good content management tools (Orbit’s Mighty-Site is an example) can manage website content for both screens, big and small, from one place.
Some features are a natural fit for smart phones. The following is a list of features that lend themselves well to mobile web sites.
If you’re considering going mobile, web designs need to be adapted or built to use responsive web design. Orbit handles all designs and development work from within our offices on the north side of Chicago. Mobile web design has been part of our services since 2007. We’d be happy to help you consider the limitations, adapt your designs, and capture the opportunity.