Mobile - The Hard Art of Simple Sites

Posted: 2012-01-18 12:55:37

For those who decide that a mobile site is a good idea the next questions that arise relate to how the mobile site should look and what the content should be.

After all, if we are just duplicating the main site content then we will have to squash an awful lot onto a small screen.

So, it makes sense to simplify the content for viewing purposes, but it also make sense to simplify the content for the user who will see the site on a mobile device and will not have to time to wait for images to download, or to read reams of text.

It's simple then - we just simplify the site in structure and content. Except it isn't - as anyone who has tried to do this will tell you.

When the original site was built the chances are that a great deal of time and effort was spent on content and structure not to mention look and feel.

What we are up to now is pulling all that apart, tearing out a fair bit and putting it all back together again, but in a simpler form.

So if someone tells you this is a piece of cake  - they are lying.

It can be a piece of cake of course if at the end of the process you want a mess that defeats the very point of having a mobile site - it therefore needs some thought and consideration.

Each site is different of course and so considerations will change, but here are some ideas:

1 - reduce main menu options to about 5 or 6 (max)

2 - try to get page text into either bullet point form or short snappy paragraphs

3 - make sure call(s) to action are prominent from the first page: - call us - fill in a (very) simple form

4 - keep images to a bare minimum

5 - use directory type navigation instead of files, e.g: use "" instead of  ""

The most difficult if these tasks is often number 2, it can be very hard to distill down the content without losing meaning, impact or both.

It requires some time, so you need to build this time into the project plan.

Building a mobile site is a good idea if you take the time do it correctly, a bad idea if you do not.

Why not ask TTMGi about mobile website development?