Different Screen Sizes
This is also a problem for classic web designers: there’s a lot of variety in screen sizes. Over the years, screen sizes have become bigger and bigger. Smartphone screens have also increased in size. This trend was fueled by the popularity of the iPhone (with a screen size of 480×320 pixels). You could use these measures as a minimum resolution.
Make sure you only offer scrolling in one direction (vertical/horizontal). Multidimensional scrolling is difficult on smartphones so try to keep it as simple as possible.
There are a lot of different mobile phone brands: Apple, Nokia, HTC, Blackberry, Samsung,.. Not all of them use the same mobile browser. According to StatCounter, Opera is still the most used mobile browser, followed by iPhone and Nokia. This information can be useful when designing a mobile website. According to characteristics of your target group, you may want to optimize your mobile website for a certain browser. For example: if the target group of your mobile website is business people, you should optimize your website for Blackberry or Windows Mobile.
In mobile design, whitespace gets a whole new meaning. Whitespace can make or break a website, but in mobile design it can also make or break the usability of the website. There’s nothing more frustrating than pressing the wrong link or button on a mobile website due to insufficient whitespace. That’s why it’s important to use plenty of whitespace. It not only looks better, but it’s also easier to use.
The Social Visitor
Mobile phone users are (and always have been) social creatures. After all: mobile phones are primarily used for their social features: calling and texting. The introduction of smartphones and mobile internet have made the users even more social. Some facts: more than 200 million people are visiting Facebook from a mobile device (12 months before, this was only 65 million people). And in 2011, 50% of the tweets will come from mobile devices.
So don’t forget the social character of your visitors. Make sure you enable them to share your articles with their friends via social media. This is also a great way to attract new visitors to your website.
What do you think is essential when designing a mobile website? Post a comment and share your thoughts!