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Shifting from Desktop to Mobile: What to Look for in Mobile Web Design


The number of mobile users are increasing day in and day out. More and more people are using internet on their mobile devices these days. That is one major reason why developing web for mobile has become essential. One thing that most of us fail to understand is that the mobile web design is completely different from designing for desktop web. Therefore, it is necessary that we build something which ensures excellent user experience and is good at adaptability. What I have noticed, most of the times, is that people consider designing a responsive website. The reason is that they believe it works across all the mediums and platform. Yes! There is no doubt in it. However, just building a responsive website is not enough.

Like I already mentioned earlier that designing for mobile web is completely different from designing for desktop. That means, building a responsive layout will solve only half the issue. It will definitely adapt to the screen size automatically because of the liquid layout, but what about the user experience that we constantly keep talking about. What we, (here by we, I mean the entrepreneurs) expect is to build a website which is easy to use. Moreover, every entrepreneur should understand that mobile era is coming and create special user-friendly mobile website, so people have an opportunity to browse them easily.

The common problems faced by mobile users are struggling with scrolling the images and web pages to view the complete page. Therefore, there are certain things that need to be considered while designing for mobile web, to ensure great user experience and more flexibility for the users while using web on their Smart Phones.

1. Challenges: Screen Sizes & Resolutions

Mobile Web Design

One of the most common, or should I say most predictable mobile web design challenge is the limitation of screen size and resolution that the designers face. It is not easy to design for mobile devices when we know that the screen size is small and limited and so are the touch pads. This means, it can be extremely challenging to design touch buttons, images and other things (the overall web-page) for mobile devices. Moreover, the standards of web for desktops have developed in the last few years and desktop hardly faces any usability issues.

Even different phones have different screen sizes and different resolutions. This means that it is a more difficult challenge, because, you will have to design differently for different devices. Or, you will need a solution that works best for all these devices. Even these possibilities have their own challenges. Because mobile devices give less space, means that there is very less content that can be included in the web-page. And because of such less space, you need to ensure that you have a web design, which clean and simple, rather than cluttered and over crowded with unnecessary content.

2. Mobile Networks Means Slower Connections

Another challenge that developers and designers face while designing for mobile web is the connectivity issue. There is no doubt that the technological advancements have led to many new things in the world. Even mobile networks have become faster and advanced with availability of 3G (and in some areas even 4G) services. This means there is smooth and uninterrupted connection. However, more than half of the mobile users still suffer slow internet connections.

Keeping in mind the needs of the masses, it is necessary that you design a website which are not very heavy and do not take ages to load. Images also should be adjusted in the same way, if possible to ensure better user experience.

3. Context of Using Mobile Internet Differs

Mobile Web Design

Earlier we saw the most common challenges faced during mobile web designing. Now that we know that screen size is one of the most common challenges, we must also understand that the interface is a big dispute. Mobile designing doesn’t mean dealing with different platforms and devices. In fact, it means dealing with a completely different context altogether.

Mobile devices face several physical parameters, like they are used in public places. That means, it can be extremely noisy; they are used outdoors, means extreme light situations. Moreover, the users have limited abilities when using mobile web. Therefore, you must take into account all these context differences while designing for mobile web.

4. Using Mobile Devices is Very Different from Using Desktop

Mobile Web Design

The last thing that is very important is the behavior of people when using mobile web. One thing you must remember is that people behave differently while using desktop web and mobile web. There expectations are also different. However, because they are more accustomed to using desktop web, they want a smoother functionality even when they are accessing web on a mobile device. Most of them use mobile web for online shopping. However, you cannot ignore the others who use mobile for other things like accessing mails, video chats, documentation and more. That is why, it is necessary that you design mobile web in a way that people have great experience while browsing your website.

On a Concluding Note…

It is challenging to design for mobile web. However, it is not impossible to do so. You must focus on providing great user experience and meet the expectations of people. Considering the above mentioned things while designing for mobile web will definitely help you do a good job.



Daniel is a Digital Marketing Strategist associated with VITEB - A Web Design Company providing Complete IT Solutions. He is a passionate about writing articles on web design trends and web usability. Follow him on Facebook @VITEB.

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