Mobile Website Project Considerations

Scott Cooper Mobile optimization of websites is becoming expected by a growing percentage of mobile device users. Thus, making a mobile version of a website is a mandatory complement to a brand and vital to making users happy. When companies are planning on delivering a mobile browser friendly adaptation of a website there are many factors that must be taken into consideration.
Marketers need to think about timelines, budget, and messaging for a mobile site. Mobile sites require the website to be rethought because they must deliver content and messaging in a different, simpler format. What has been done in the past on a website does not translate to the mobile medium. It is best to start with the basics, then grow the site in the future. These sites are used by people who are on the go and away from their desks, so there is a need to provide the information consumers demand quickly and in small, digestible morsels.

It is important to be aware of mobile device capabilities, and, if possible, to use them as an advantage. The more devices a site provides a pleasant user experience on, the better. Creating and serving the correct markup for a specific mobile device and browser is the best practice. However, sometimes a small budget and/or a short timeline raises the question of building the experience for the lowest common denominator. The lowest common denominator approach is definitely of interest when developing mobile friendly sites because it is what classifies the user base and device preference. The goal is always to maximize reach despite any time or budget constraints.

Programming with the newest phones, browsers, and technologies in mind allows progress sooner with “slick” results. But, that approach may alienate older phones and browsers – and in turn potential users and customers – creating a call for a sense of balance. For example, developing a site that is geared toward the iPhone or iTouch, because those are the cool toys on the market, is not satisfactory since most mobile Web browsing is not performed on Apple’s devices.

Consistency is best in the lowest common denominator approach. Thinking cross platform, considering factors like screen size, navigation, and more commonly available technology provides access to a larger user base.

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