Internet and mobile, two amazing inventions of technology have made our lives easier and convenient. Since the user of both has increased so much, you will find so eight out of ten people using internet via cell phones because it helps them in staying connected to the world and it is convenient as well.Â Â Â Â This increasing popularity has compelled mobile companies to design websites especially for mobile usage. It has become a necessity for almost every popular website to come up with a â€œMobile Versionâ€ of the website.
Designing a website for mobile usage is not at all an easy thing to do. As a designer, you should learn each and everything about mobile website designing and then take a step forward. So, before you actually jump into designing a mobile version of your clientâ€™s website, you really need to understand what is mobile web design?
What is Mobile Web Design – Understanding the Basics
Nothing can be done without proper knowledge and planning. Yes, you can learn by trial n error but isnâ€™t it better to get to learn basics of mobile websites and then start working on one. Well, for every designer, good news is that designing a website for mobile is no rocket science really so you wonâ€™t have to learn and start your designing career all over again. The good thing is that there is less to learn. All you need to do is compress your original design, if we have to be precise. Well, in order to understand mobile websites, you need to have a good knowledge about mobile web browsers as well. There are different browsers for different mobiles. For instance, Safari is for iPhone and BlackBerry has its own browser. On palm devices you can use WebOS browser and IE mobile on windows mobile device.
You should be well aware of the common browser codes as well. Also, a good research on which browser your target audience would be using is very important. Once you are well aware of browsers, you can actually decide your design according to that. Also, different phones will have different screen sizes so you cannot expect every phone to show same content. This will also affect downloading time. Never expect iPhone and Blackberry to show same result
Learning Mobile Web Design Language
Learning the language of mobile web design is very important. Not everyone is familiar with the terms used for mobile designing so following definitions, which are very simple and are definitely going to help you in mobile website designing.
SGML:Â This term stands for â€œStandard Generalized Markup Languageâ€. This language is not a very old language in technology world as it was created in 1986. This term is mostly used for publishing and printing agencies.
- HDML: This language was created in 1996 and stands for Handheld Device Markup Language. This language opened ways for another language i.e., WML.
- WML: Wireless Markup language is basically a language specifically for mobile devices. It was created in 1998 and is an XML based language.
- Compact HTML: This language is considered to be a lot better than WML by a lot of people. Mixed reviews have been received for this language.
- XHTML Mobile Profile: This language was created in 2001 especially for mobiles and is considered to be the strongest language by far.
After discussing and understanding various terms and languages of developing mobile websites, we need to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Mobile Web Design. Well, we cannot deny the fact that everything has its own pros and cons and nothing is perfect. Mobile design is no exception. So, letâ€™s take a look at advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Mobile Web Design
There are plenty of advantages of mobile web design. You can almost stay connected with everyone around you and you can have access to your favorite website whenever you want and that too without any issues. Mobility is one of the biggest advantages of Mobile web designing. A person does not have stay at home or office in order to stay connected to internet. Now you can have an access to any website any time. People have become information addicts so mobile web design is like the best thing for such people. Also, with the passage of time, mobile usage has increased a lot so mobile websites have become necessity now.
Disadvantages of Mobile Web Design
The major disadvantages or discomfort of these websites is the small screen size and loading may take a little more time than expected. So the experience becomes less exciting in comparison to viewing things on a desktop. So, it is a designerâ€™s duty to design a mobile website in a way so that it can be pleasing to everyoneâ€™s eye.
Reasons why you canâ€™t ignore mobileâ€™s design
Since mobiles have become popular, you need to stay connected to your target audience and coming up with such a website is very important. Never every design a website keeping in mind the smart phones as not everyone will have a smart phone. You designing should be for everyone and every sort of internet compatible mobile. The trend of using internet over the phone is here to stay for a long time. There have been a lot of researches on Mobile internet usage and almost 40% out of 100% have subscribed to internet usage.
Making your website Mobile Phone Compatible
How to begin
When a client comes to you with his website which needs to go mobile, you will have a few options on how to go about it. You have an option to create a new website completely or you can also convert the existing site into a mobile version which is better. Once you are done with deciding the design, and then come the content part. A lot of content has to go so you need to make sure that the important content stays and the not so important content goes.
Size of the Screen
Designing a normal website is a lot different than designing a mobile website. Since you have limited options you will have to come up with a design which is really pleasing to the eye. Also, consider various mobiles in mind. You cannot use the same version for iPhone and Blackberry.
Testing the site
You will have two versions of mobiles on which you will have to test the site. One is smart phones and the other device is non smart phones. You need to make sure that it looks great on both versions and also it has easy navigation and loads on time. It is important to test it on multiple devices.
Designing a mobile website is not that difficult. All you need to do is utilize your normal web designing skills for a smaller version of the website. The design should be simple yet appealing and do not forget to check the loading page. Also, important pictures and companyâ€™s logo has to be there. You can say that it requires minor changes from the original website and you are all good to go live with a mobile phone compatible website.