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How Effective Mobile Sites Look and Feel
We now know why it is so important for website designers to carefully plan and develop sites with mobile device use in mind. So how does the designer's diligence pay off for the end user?
Design is simple and flexible. The mobile design is simple, and it expands or contracts depending on the size of the mobile screen on which it is viewed. If viewed on a smart phone, it shrinks. A tablet, on the other hand, easily renders the image larger. The user is not required to scroll left or right, nor does he/she have to zoom in or out. A single column page design is implemented, meaning that the user only scrolls vertically as necessary.
Navigation does not equal frustration. This may be the most crucial piece. Going from page to page on a mobile device is a fun and intuitive experience for the user. All paths are streamlined, eliminating the need to keep clicking through the site. Navigation also looks clickable, since touch screens do not offer the benefits of hover state and title tags for guidance. Icons and labels are employed to assist as well. Ultimately, most people's fingers are too large to click on small text, so clear, concise buttons are key.
Content is clean. Text is consistently clear and focused. Simply put, there is no room for clutter. The designer has kept a 'less is more' approach in mind when organizing content and page structure. Large bits of text are broken into smaller views for further clarity.
Branding is obvious. Branding is distinct. While the mobile design does not provide a lot of restate, the logo/watermark still takes advantage of available space. The color scheme, (which is just as important,) is also incorporated, since the logo may not appear on every page.
Integration is available. Features such as Google Maps and Click To Call are conveniently accessible, allowing users to look up information directly from their smart phones. This is an especially useful feature for companies that offer services to customers. Making a business easier to contact, whether by phone or in person, is always beneficial.
Website design has finally caught up with the hardware that brings it to the public. With careful planning, a designer can ensure a highly effective user experience. From readability to practical use, quality need not suffer when using mobile devices.