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Friday, 23 August 2013

What makes a Great Mobile Site?

Last updated on 00:47 - by Ramandeep Singh - Tags : ,

Smartphone usage is higher than it has ever been. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 56 percent of Americans own and use a smartphone. This number is up from 35 percent two years ago, showing just how rapidly this communications sector is growing. For web pages that aren't going mobile, you could be missing out a massive opportunity to engage in eCommerce. However, your business or organization must understand that mobile users are looking for a very specific experience when surfing the web on their smartphones or tablets.

Functionality

Before worrying about anything else with your mobile web page, consider functionality to be the prime concern in the basic design concept. Without a properly functioning website, users will be wary of visiting your page or engaging in any sort of transaction. A strong mobile website begins with touch screen functionality. While some phones do come with fully functioning keyboards, the majority of smart devices place an emphasis on user input via the screen.

After your site has been optimized for touch screen use, consider how scaling and layout will fit on mobile devices. Tailoring content and categorization to properly display on smaller screens is key. Additionally, graphics are usually held to a minimum in favor of text and functional buttons. This can be attributed primarily to data plans and cell service coverage. Regardless, if your site is bogged down by needless graphics, you could easily turn away a large portion of your viewership.

Visual Themes

The best mobile sites understand that visual themes play a major role in website design. While mobile sites are constrained in regards to graphics, other thematic issues can still be addressed. Enjoyable color combinations, as well tasteful and easily viewed borders and fonts all play an important part in the finished product. Clashing selections on colors, bordering, and backgrounds can be abrasive on small screens and lead to a negative or unsatisfactory viewing experience.

Outside of basic color schemes, certain scripts and functions can also be detrimental to your mobile website. Depending on the age of the user's phone, and its technical capabilities, plug-ins, like Adobe Flash Player and Javascript, may not display properly. Be wary of adding these tools into your site without careful consideration. Otherwise, you may find that some visuals and media cause instability and crashes on certain platforms.

Security

Of course, security is a major concern when dealing with anything related to the Internet. Mobile users are no exception. Depending on how you design your site, your organization may be at risk to some traditional threats and others that may not be so obvious. Viruses, security leaks held within the framework of the site, and intercepted transmissions are all issues faced by your web page operators, as well as mobile consumers. On the customer end, security can also be compromised by unauthorized physical access to the phone or tablet, as well as malicious spam in the form of instant messages of downloaded applications.

Constant Content

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when seeking to build a successful mobile site is that mobile users consume a lot of content. According to the British cellular service provider O2, the average smartphone user spends at least two hours a day on their phones. To keep up with this massive demand, be ready to add content often. A failure to do so could lead to bored or unsatisfied users. Letting these mobile browsers check out your competition during long lulls between content could spell disaster for your operation. Scheduling releases and adhering to a content schedule is a solid option to avoid significant gaps in updates.

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