Website Design January 19th, 2010
Gone are the days when people used a PC or notebook for strictly sharing information. Now people can browse the web using mobile phones while walking or traveling. You don't need to carry a heavy bag full of information because everything you need is at your fingertips. The power of Internet is here to stay with all kinds of exciting possibilities. With the huge growth of smart phones and the clear shift in interest towards the mobile market companies that concentrate on marketing in this area can stand to receive large benefits.
According to ICT statistics internet access by mobile phones will be almost 1 billion by 2014. Moreover, more than 80% of cell phones now come bundled with a web browser.
Generally there is specific information which people browse through mobile phones. Some examples include booking a movie ticket or air ticket, to learn the latest news, buying pizza or to learn the way to a particular location etc.
With these types of capabilities all on your phone mobile gadgets are suddently becoming a very attractive choice. Now lets learn how to get your website optimized for Mobile Gadgets?
Before you start your gadget design you should plan how your URL will view for mobile devices. The same domain can be integrated to the mobile phone adding the design and css for mobiles but there would be lots of testing that needs to be done before launching to the web. Also remember to keep things simple. For extremely complex or dynamic website content this is not a recommended plan.
There are standard URL methods to access for mobile phones.
a) Adding a sub domain to your existing site like http://mobile.yoursite.com.
In this case it is possible to deliver the content quickly and effectively on mobile Gadgets as the design and css elements are separate from the main domain. Examples of sites using mobile as sub domains are Bing,Reuters, Newsweek, Washington Post etc.
b)The internet now offers a special domain name that has been designated for mobile users called ".MOBI". By using this extension your site can be accessed by http://yoursite.mobi. This is not widely known by users at this time. You can read more about MOBI here. Sites using MOBI are BMW, Business Week, ESPN etc. Talk about sports and football!
c) Even though standards are set, popular websites use the different sub domains for Mobile Phones like Google, Yahoo etc.
So we have planned how the URL for mobiles will display, now let's start designing.
As mobile devices have a different screen layout than PC/Notebook, you have to work differently with the available screen size. One of the major changes compared to your desktop is the screen resolution.
1. Once you have a specific place to put content for mobile users, you should consider the design limitations of the mobile client. The common resolution of both Smartphone and Pocket PCs is 320 x 240.
2. Due to the narrow width you may find that the vertical design of web pages with navigation at the side may not be practical due to the small screen. Always avoid horizontal scrolling.
3. Use less graphics. It is recommended not to use big pictures / banners as it takes time to get the page loaded. Place only brief meaningful content as people won't be interested to read long articles or description.
4. Add alt and title tag for pictures because Smart Phone users may block images so they get content to load faster.
6. Don't uses frames or objects that have a fixed size, like tables.
7. Using the phone attribute –
<a href=?#? tel=?1.866.410.7090?>Call Us Now</a>
Windows Mobile supports <a ref="1.866.410.7090">Call Us Now</a>
This attribute allows you to directly dial the toll-free number. This will significantly improve calling rates!
8. Meta Tags – If you have mobile optimized website pages, give them a mobile meta-tag: MOBILEOPTIMIZED. Mobile meta tags can be incorporated into mobile optimized. How do HTML documents identify the document as made for mobile?.
To add to this, the Google Mobile team recently launched Google Latitude, a fun new way to share your live location with friends. For those of you who aren't familiar, Google Latitude is a feature of Google Maps for Mobile that allows you to share your whereabouts and receive updates about your friends' approximate locations.
If you are using WordPress as a blog just install this plugin and let users browse your posts using mobile.
As this is a new era of web and as the developments and standardizations practices are getting formulated please get in touch to get updated. It is the right time to capture the market! Just remember – while you are sitting pondering getting into mobile gadgets, some of your competitors are already pouncing on the opportunity!
Optimizing Websites for Mobile GadgetsRead time: 4 minutes