The widespread use of mobile devices changed the face of web design, with issues of cross-platform usability being tackled and overcome. The release of the new generation of smartphones means yet more changes to come. The iPhone5, Nokia Lumia, Samsung S3 and HTC one X all require designers to update their ideas yet again. In many ways the advances in mobile technology make cross-platform web design easier than ever before, and new tools and languages have sprung into being to assist developers.
• Mobile Usage Statistics
Across the entire population of the planet, 80% of people now own some sort of mobile phone. Of these, one fifth are currently in possession of a smartphone – that’s 1.1 billion users worldwide. Not only that, but 90% of people who own a smartphone use it every single day in some way, and 84% use it to browse the internet on a regular basis. At present Android enjoy almost 50% of the market share, although iPhones are catching up. Smartphone users are divided almost equally in terms of male and female, and the largest demographic is within the 25-34 year old age bracket.
• Design for Different Speeds
Websites for mobile devices have often needed to be kept relatively simple to allow users across the board to access them. Although the new generation of smartphones are much faster than ever before, designers still need to bear in mind that they cannot add too many fancy features if it is going to significantly increase download time. Keeping the most basic relevant information in a simple format allows web designers to keep sites accessible to all. The new smartphones are capable of a lot more however, and adding features in as optional extras is now possible.
[Do read: How to Structure Your Site ]
• Information Overload
One of the most common mistakes web designers for mobile make is attempting to pack in too much information. This slows down the site and is completely unnecessary. People who are browsing the internet on mobile devices are generally on the go and looking for quick answers. The smaller screens offered on mobiles require designers to carefully consider how much information is needed and how to lay it out in an accessible format.
• Treat it as a Separate Entity
Even with the new advances in technology, we are not yet at a point where mobile internet access is equal to that from a desktop computer. It is not enough to simply make your current website mobile accessible, it needs to be specifically aimed at the needs of the mobile user. Snappy results, concise content and space saving devices should be well utilized. Dropdown menus are an effective way of adding extra information without taking up too much screen space.
Is it must now for a website to be mobile accessible? Do share your opinion in the comment section, we’ll be glad to hear from you.
This is a guest post on behalf of a web site design company in Bedford.