Many designers today are faced with new challenges in the web world – MOBILE!!! I scream this because it is not an entirely new requirement, but it is becoming more and more of a necessity. But mobile isn’t just a page that is developed using something like JQuery Mobile — which is one of the better tools out there for mobile styling — it is, and can be, an entire set of css styles applied to the whole site using the browser signature as an entry point to identifying which style sheet(s) to apply. Well, that sounds pretty simple. But, if not handled correctly, the entire site may not react appropriately and a visitor’s browser may render the styling incorrectly based on bad coding.
I don’t really have a best approach answer to the dilemma that programmers face. There are many programmers out there who know a lot more than I do on the best practices of presenting a mobile page… So, I am not here to tell you the best approach.
Then why even write this….???
Because this is my blog and I can write what I want… OK, that’s a bad answer. The reason why to write this is to teach you with my mistakes (many I still haven’t corrected – even with my own site) and hope we can all learn together.
Mobile is here to stay – deal with it
I’m not the foremost expert on mobile design, but I am one to follow the trends. Since the iPhone was released, it changed the way people used the internet. Not only did the iPhone put the power of the internet into its owners hands, but it actually changed the way the people interacted with the internet. So, to get to the point – how can you use this to your advantage? Simple… You don’t have to redesign your entire site to make it mobile friendly, but to embrace the power of these devices, the smartest thing one can do is ensure that content that puts the user in your selling space (retail, service, etc.) needs to be mobile friendly. At least friendly enough to allow the user to map your address or click to dial your phone number or get to your home page without too much that will kill a mobile connection.
Please don’t follow my lead though… I have yet to optimize my page as I am instructing you to do so. I have my reasons. The main one is, most people looking for web design probably don’t do it on their iPhone (but I work OK on an iPad). But people looking for sites that provide an immediate service, like a retail store, are going to want certain information on their mobile immediately. And as I said, the most important thing is to present them with information on how to find you.
To be continued…