By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur magazine|September 1, 2010
Juniper Research estimates that the number of mobile web users will grow from 1.2 billion this year to more than 2.4 billion in 2014. While many of these users will be able to surf the mobile web just as they do on their desktop and laptop computers, hundreds of millions of others will still be using smart phones with tiny screens and limited bandwidth and navigation.
This makes it imperative for your company’s web designers to acquire tools and techniques for optimal mobile web design. On the mobile web, minimalism is essential because screen size is small, users may pay for bandwidth by the megabyte, and navigation is likely to be more difficult.
To simplify your mobile design, take the following steps:
- Streamline the menu system.
- Reduce or eliminate graphics, especially those used in navigation.
- Scale back text and break it over multiple pages.
- Avoid pop-ups, which can be unpredictable on mobile platforms.
- Think small. Mobile phone screen sizes and dimensions vary from 320 x 480 down to 128 x 160 pixels.
Use a mobile theme. In your content management system (CMS), use one set of CSSes for your main website and a separate set for your mobile website. Plug-ins are available for most open-source CMSes, including WordPress and Joomla, that can help mobilize your site with a separate mobile theme. Theseplug-ins can detect when a mobile browser is accessing the site and choose the minimalist CSS to display the site.
Design to scroll only vertically. Limit page width so that…