Web Design For Mobile Phones and Devices
Web page design for mobile phones and mobile devices is somewhat different than typical web design. First, as in all design, you must consider your medium. Obviously the size of our medium is important, but it's also important to understand that there are two different kinds of cell phones with access to the internet.
True mobile phones include both smart phones and web enabled cell phones. Smart phones actually access the internet just like a small desktop computer. Web enabled phones on the other hand, can only access mobile websites.
Mobile websites are websites that end in the extension.mobi instead of.com or.org or.net. The do not show pictures, only text. These phones can not simply access your regular website and see anything.
Smart phones can access your website and see everything on it by scrolling endlessly, but this is not necessarily ideal. Remembering that we need to consider the medium we should instead provide a meaningful experience for our smart phone users.
The best way to do this is with a.mobi site. A.mobi site is a secondary website that is specifically designed for your mobile visitors. This can include graphics for those phones that can see them, and still be fashioned in a way that meets the needs of the mobile phone browsers. This allows for banner ads, and text ads that fit well inside their screen as well as text and links that are specifically chosen to be made available to your browsers on the go.
Web Design For Mobile Phones
How does web design and planning differ for mobile websites? First, as already mentioned, way fewer graphics and smaller graphics.
Second, way less text. Those readers who access your site by phone will not have long amounts of time to read tons of content. Your content needs to be short and to the point in bullet fashion.
Third your navigation must be very clear and very succinct. You want to make it extremely easy for them to find what they are looking for. Because of this I recommend narrowing your pages to a mere handful of say 4-8 pages. These pages should definitely contain contact information such as phone number as well as driving directions. This is one of the main reasons people look for a site online, so make sure you meet their need and make it easy for them to get to you.
Fourth, you should include RSS feeds for them to subscribe to. If they choose to subscribe its an easy way for them to keep up to date about events and specials at your company.
What makes someone qualified to be a mobile web designer? If you are considering extending your business through a mobile site design, I would seriously consider hiring a professional mobile web designer. A mobile web designer will know about the limitations for the various cell phones on the market, how to get your new mobile site listed in the mobile website directories, be able to make recommendations about hosting and how to tie your new.mobi site to your current website.
They will also know the difference between html (the code used to build regular web pages) and the code necessary to build a site visible on cell phones.
If you keep the above points in mind when looking for or interviewing a mobile web designer you will not have a problem successfully launching your web design for mobile phones.