There are several areas that need to be considered when devising a website for wireless devices, keeping in mind specific requirements and mindset of users on the go. Layout, content format, coding, images and optimization are a few basic, albeit vital things that come into play. Here is a quick look at some of the aspects you should take into account before proceeding to create your own mobile site:
- One of the key elements while devising a mobile site is layout or structure. It can get time consuming and tedious at times, to browse and navigate through a mobile site, more so if its layout is not properly thought out. It should be simpler, uncluttered and easy to access. Make it a point to put most of the important pages you want mobile device users to check, at the front. Insert the key bits of information right on top of the page.
- Include a company logo that is customized for your mobile site. Minimize unnecessary left/right navigation, since it is difficult on a handset. Arrange the content in a unified single column layout. Minimize the usage of tables. If you need to incorporate them, do not use more than a couple of columns. Row and column merging should be avoided.
- Ensure the information on your mobile site is easier to read, and doesn’t take the hurried users on the go much efforts to figure out content structure of your mobile site. After having finalized the content, which is to be displayed exclusively on mobile, fine tune the site menu accordingly and in order of its importance and relevance. Font size is another issue to consider while rendering the content. It should be easy on eyes.
- There is no special coding, as is the common perception, needed for your mobile site. It’s much more convenient to code it using XML or XHTML. You may create it with basic HTML/ CSS coding. Pay attention to elements like title tags, heading tags, description meta tags, filenames. They should be infused with target keywords to optimize the content offering.
- Most mobile devices would take long to load images owing to slower Internet speeds or operating systems. Hence do not use heavy images or graphics. Visual elements should be kept to the minimum, as far as possible, and added only when they are contextually relevant or unavoidable.
- If you want to put images on a mobile site, they should be in .gif, .jpeg or .png format as these files are comparatively light-weight. Also, ensure that your pictures are compressed to prevent zooming. Though most devices display images, at times users may opt to browse with the images’ functionality turned off. So it is recommended that you invariably use the alt text.