Web design for mobile devices…

There has been a recent advent of several modern gadgets and smartphones like iPads, iPhones etc. and the demand for mobile based websites like iPhone web design etc. is growing…

Let’s have a quick glance at some of the recent findings and why we need a mobile friendly site:

  • There are approximately over 700 million mobile users who surf the internet using their mobile phones.
  • Mobile web surfing is increasing exponentially, and marketers now have to start focusing on their mobile web presence to build their brand image and brand preference amongst the prospects.
  • According to another research, it has been observed that with the help of mobile phone web, now the customers like to research about a particular product before purchasing it.
  • With the m-commerce (mobile commerce) on the rise, the in-store retailers are now expected to offer price comparisons to their customers on their handsets only.
  • Also, the m-commerce customers can receive product reviews on their mobile devices.
  • These mobile customers can also get discounts and promotions based on their purchases in the past.
  • It is also noticed that banner ads on mobile phones are able to produce highest click-through rates and fairly good ad recall.
  • Mobile display ads have more impact on the prospects than using other communication mediums like mobile videos and SMS.
  • In a recent survey conducted, it has been found out that with the fast expansion of the mobile phones in Asian countries like India and China, 5 billionth mobile phone connections was made successful. And 50 million mobile users are from India and China alone.

With thousands of mobile users increasing everyday, the need for a mobile website design is on the rise.

However it should be noted that a website designed for mobile phones and the one designed for desktop computers vary. This is because of the following reasons:-

  • Variation in dimensions
    The screen size of the mobile phones vary from one phone to another like 128 x 160 pixels, 176 x 220 pixels, 240 x 320 pixels and 320 x 480 pixels. Hence, it becomes difficult to develop a mobile website design that is flexible to run on different mobile handsets.
  • Page Scroll
    Another important issue for a mobile websites design is that a mobile phone does not involve the use of mouse. So, it becomes difficult for the user to flip from one page to another. Since, the user can only scroll up and down so only the most important information should be displayed on the screen. And the site should be designed in a manner that it fits to all screen sizes. (A mobile page has the maximum limit of 20 kb)

  • Target audience’s web browsing habits
    Web design for mobile devices is a challenge for the web developers. This is because; a mobile website design includes very crisp and essential information. You need to understand the psychology and the browsing habits of your mobile websites users and accordingly design your mobile website. The reason behind this is that the mobile websites users are mostly on the move when they surf the Internet.
  • Provide radio buttons on your mobile websites design
    A user cannot write text in the mobile websites. Therefore, the provision of radio buttons in the mobile websites design is a must.
  • Images used
    Only jpeg or gif format images should be used in mobile websites, if at all need be, else they should be avoided to keep the page light.
  • Navigation
    Several mobile devices are not equipped with back buttons, so for the convenience of the users back buttons and other essential links must be provided.

Below is a screenshot of Magnon International’s web design for mobiles, an example to better understand how a mobile website looks like:

Magnon International

Having understood the difference between a website designed for the web and for a mobile device, let us find out how to create a web design for mobile devices:-

  • What markup language is to be used?
    • WML
      WML or Wireless Markup Language
      is an XML markup language that was used to surf the WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) sites. If your target group comprises of people possessing low-end mobile devices, then WML is the best option.

    • XHTML
      Mobile phones these days can understand both XHTML and XHTML-MP; here MP refers to Mobile Profile. To suit the mobile screen dimensions, XHTML-MP involves fewer elements as compared to XHTML used for desktop websites. Though there may not be any highlighting difference in writing XHTML and XHTML-MP.
  • Selecting a domain name
    Choose a sub-domain name for your mobile website design so as to distinguish between your mobile website and your desktop site. You can use the word ‘mobile’ or the letter ‘m’ in the beginning or at the end of your website’s URL like- the mobile version of a website http://example.org can be created by writing- http://example.org/mobile or http://m.example.org

From the aforesaid we conclude that the ever-increasing mobile web surfing has given a new platform to the web marketers to expand their market niche and thus widen their profit sharing margins…

Though you can convert your existing website to run on mobile phones but mobile website development requires professional expertise. At Magnon International, we offer mobile website design service as well. Please let us know if we can provide any assistance to you…

-By Neha Gulati

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