The co-founder of Google – Sergey Brin – said that: “the future belongs to the Mobile Internet”. The constantly growing interest in it in recent years should make everyone realize that those words could be considered prophetic. What are the main principles of creating mobile versions of websites?
First of all, mobile websites have to be “lightweight”. Such “light weight” can be achieved by not placing too many graphic elements that overload websites. It is also important to build websites based on the simple semantic code XHTML Mobile Profile. Large amounts of text (but only when it’s necessary, as mobile websites “don’t like” excess) could be divided into several pages, instead of placing everything on the main page. The weight of a mobile website should be as low as possible, so that the user isn’t burdened with the costs of accessing our website.
A website’s size has to fit to every mobile device display. As everyone knows, these are very diverse, which makes it quite a difficult task. Of course some devices will display a website better while others a little poorer. It all depends on the device’s parameters, but it always has to be possible to read. Which makes it incredibly important for it to be universal.
We shouldn’t go overboard with content on a website. Whereas a traditional version of a website allows to place large amount of text, mobile websites should actually be more modest in this regard. It is also important for the text to be arranged in a way that makes it easier to find the information searched for. It is the best to highlight the things that are most important and most often searched for by Internet users, while giving up on what is merely an addition to the website.
Another thing is website navigation. It is important for it to be as simple as possible, especially with small sizes of the display and the keyboard. A good option are website browsers, as well as Keyboard shortcuts (making it possible to reach the desired part of the website), it is necessary to place a ”back” link so that the user could quickly come back to what they were doing in case of a mistake.
Take care of a good address for the mobile version of a website or domain where the users can find it. There are three options to choose from: a subdomain (m.web.com, mobile.web.com, light.web.com), a so-called special domain (web.mobi) or a catalog (web.com/mobile). The best option actually seems to be a special domain, as in such case the user won’t have to remember what subdomain the website was registered under (m or mobile).
To wrap this up, it is worth noting that the popularity of the Mobile Internet is growing month by month. It is not just a temporary trend, it’s the Future of the Internet. Why? For one thing, because it offers convenience and even faster access to the information, but it’s mostly because mobile devices are used by a whole third of humanity (and the number keeps growing), which constitutes an enormous market. It wouldn’t be wise, therefore, to ignore that fact and treat mobile websites as a temporary whim of users or website creators who only want to show off another novelty.