I recently read an article on HBR blog about boosting your organisation’s creativity by imposing constraints. Although the entire article was thought-provoking, there was one part that I found particularly interesting:
“In Silicon Valley start-ups a common philosophy these days is “mobile first”: create the mobile app or mobile version of the website before you do the “full” version.”
And there’s a really good reason for this – the phone’s small screen forces you to ask yourself: what are the most important messages/elements that I want to communicate to my customers?
The article got me thinking about the development of mobile websites and apps more than ever before. I am always looking for interesting and useful apps that will somehow make my life easier. Or at least more fun.
But what’s particularly frustrating is looking for specific information that I really need on my phone only to find out that the website isn’t optimised for mobile devices. Zooming in and out and not being able to click on the appropriate links becomes frustrating very quickly. So how hard is it to develop a functional mobile website? I’m certainly not a technical expert on mobile website development, but considering the diversity of tools and resources available today, my guess is that it can’t be that difficult.
According to Forbes, this year mobile devices will surpass PCs to be the most common tools to access the Internet. By 2015, over 80% of handsets in mature markets will be smart phones.
Search Engine Journal article points out that many experts predict that mobile searches will overtake those undertaken on desktop PCs by 2015.
So are businesses responding to the increasing use of mobile devices?
Inspired by mobile trends and my own experiences with accessing the Internet via mobile devices, I did some research and compiled a list of several usability guidelines when it comes to designing mobile websites.
I’m sure you will come across many more advices about the usability of mobile websites and will take into consideration those that pertain to you. Don’t forget the single most important thing when it comes to launching a mobile website – testing! Always test the website on all devices, multiple times, in order to make sure it is properly optimised.
Have you had experience with developing a mobile website?♦ End