10 Most Important Guidelines for Mobile Web Development
An immense development in the world of mobile devices has made things a lot easier for mobile users. With Android, iPhone and other Smartphone people are accessing internet simply from their mobile websites. As per a recent research, more than sixty three million people in States visited different mobile websites via their mobile devices and the count is expected to reach almost 2 billion by the end of next year. Since the numbers are growing like anything, it is very important for designers and developers to come up with websites specially designed for mobile usage.
Good thing about mobile web development is that as a developer or a designer, you won’t have to make an extra effort to learn something out of the blue as far as technology is concerned, in order to develop a mobile website design. All you need to have is a whole new perspective regarding designing of the mobile website. Today, in this article I am aiming to sum up the most important guidelines for mobile web development in a simpler way. So here goes:
Initiate with Analytics
It is extremely important to analyze a certain points regarding your mobile users’. To start off with, review the stats of your OS. This will help you in analyzing the important and most visited web pages of your website. You will also get to know the country/city you are driving the most traffic from. Apart from analyzing the top pages visited by users’, make sure you check the keywords being used in order to get an access to your site. These analytics will help you a lot in your mobile development and will definitely bring positive results.
Mobile users are bound to have different needs altogether in comparison with desktop users. While developing and designing your mobile website, make sure you put yourself in the mobile user’s shoes. If your target audience is teenager, they will always be on the go so your website should be easy enough to use while driving, shopping or any other activity. Analyzing audience profile is indeed helpful in mobile web development.
Minimize the usage of images
Excessive usage of images is not considered to be a very practical act for mobile websites. In fact, images are considered to be a bad news for mobile websites and that too for the following reasons:
- In general, images take a lot of time to load because of their large sizes. As a developer and designer, you must keep in mind that mobile users are often using slow internet connections and their connections cannot handle download of heavy images. So, this is one good reason to avoid usage of images.
- Each image will require a new HTTP connection and because of the latency it has, it will further slow down the loading of the page.
- Sizing of the images for all kinds of devices can be very difficult due to the different resolutions. You are inviting a whole new lot of effort by including a lot of imagery in your mobile website.
Still, if you really desire to use images in your website, make sure you use CSS Sprite because it helps in time reduction of loading.
While you are developing/designing a mobile website, make sure you avoid fly-outs and drop-downs in your website. This is a good thing but only for desktop websites since a user is able to move the cursor over any tab to view the drop down. Yes, a notch for dragging down can be used but then again, it is not a great idea for mobile websites. It would be a good idea if you do not use this thing at all.
Horizontal and Vertical Layouts
These days we see a lot of mobile websites supporting both horizontal and vertical layouts for the websites. Yes, they work well for iPhone and Android devices but this is not practical for all Smartphone’s. While developing your website, you should go for a single column form. This will allow your users to scroll and that too in a single direction. By default, the single direction should be vertical because this is what is natural and a user expects this as well. If any images are being used, they too should support vertical scrolling. Opting for both vertical and horizontal scrolling is not a good idea.
Take advantage of mobile features
A great way to develop your website is to learn the features of mobile devices which are the most popular. You can then incorporate these features into your mobile website and this will be a definite plus for your website.
An option to visit your regular website
Mobile website is bound to have very limited information and in case a user requires more information, you can always provide a link of your regular website on the main page of your mobile web site.
Speed of your website