Mobile with Direction in Mind
The popularity of mobile web design knows no bounds. The question is how to pack big ideas into such a small space.
- Design of a mobile website demands a similar level of planning as for a desktop site
- Mobile design requires specific knowledge of mobile browsing habits and user tech-savvy
- Our mobile design specialists stay up to date on innovations that enhance performance
MOBILE CONTENT ARCHITECTURE
At its core, a mobile website is about delivering big experiences within confined physical spaces. This challenge places added pressure on the web design team to create a smooth, logical browsing experience that users can enjoy with the swipe of a thumb. The information architecture is where grand ideas find a simpler form of expression and everything but the most essential gets swept away.
MOBILE SCREEN DESIGN
The most successful mobile websites make effective use of space and feature deceptively simple design. But working within the tighter confines of mobile screens takes considerable experimenting, so that your brand sits comfortably in the hands of the users you covet. Our team designs a mobile user interface that works for your target market—a creative process guided by careful research and a well-conceived information architecture.
MOBILE WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
Mobile browsing is on the rise, but tolerance of poor-performing sites remains as low as ever. Our team of developers continuously researches and incorporates the latest innovations in their field, which helps them deliver powerful performance for apps and mobile sites. We also optimize content to enhance the mobile web-browsing experience, recognizing both the advantages and limitations of the downsizing that accompanies the move from desktop. This approach minimizes data traffic resources and keeps page-loading times down. After QA testing our sites on all major devices and browsers, we proudly hand the reins over to you.
RESPONSIVE WEB DESIGN
Creating a responsive website is no easy task, but your audience is worth it. Google has openly endorsed responsive websites as the preferred method for delivering mobile-friendly content, and when a dedicated mobile site would only be redundant, responsive becomes a no-brainer. The beauty of a responsive website is the ability to provide a consistent experience across all platforms. Not surprisingly, a truly effective responsive site doesn’t come without extensive planning, the kind that accounts for every scenario while minimizing page-loading times and maximizing SEO impact.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONTENT ARCHITECTURE FOR A DESKTOP AND A MOBILE WEBSITE?
Although on the surface the two may appear similar, the process behind creating a desktop information architecture and a mobile information architecture is quite different (or at least it should be). Usability takes centre stage when organizing information for a mobile website, since users access content in a less precise way—for example, clicking with a mouse on a desktop site lets them find what they need even if it’s surrounded by related content, but clicking on that same item with a thumb or finger on a mobile site would be dramatically more difficult.
This is just one of the considerations that should guide mobile content strategy, especially as more and more web users are abandoning their desktop in favour of something less restrictive. In working toward the goal of superior usability, a mobile information architecture needs to do away with anything but the most useful, most popular sections of its desktop counterpart. In some cases this may entail a complete redesign and re-imagining of a section, in order to accommodate the mobile browsing experience (and in fact one of the strongest arguments in favour of a separate mobile site as opposed to a single responsive site is the creation of a distinct experience). It’s important to note, too, that mobile browsing suffers as users are forced to move farther away from the main navigation menu. Well-structured content ensures that they always maintain their sense of orientation within the site.
Performance also plays a major role in the development of a mobile site. Less robust hardware and software means that certain types of content, especially images and video, will slow browsing to a crawl; whereas the exact same content on a desktop site would not create the same adverse effect. To optimize mobile performance, the information architect must weigh the costs and benefits of every piece of content. It’s then up to the developers to modify content—for example compressing image size—to ensure pages load as quickly as possible.
WHAT IS A RESPONSIVE WEBSITE?
As the name suggests, responsive web design is a process that empowers a website to respond to different situations—in this case the device used to access the site. What this means is that a single website can take on a wide variety of content layouts depending on the device and its screen size.
Although this flexibility does require more web design and development work, it also represents the most cost-effective solution for many clients. That being said, not every site is a good candidate to become a responsive website—unusually large or complex sites will benefit most from the mobile treatment, as certain changes to structure, navigation, functionality and performance will likely need to be made.
You can get a sense of the transformation process by viewing responsive web design examples and resizing your browser’s window. Watch how certain elements shift, jump, duck or morph right before your eyes, dramatically changing the placement of content items without necessarily changing the overall look and feel of the site.
An added benefit of responsive web design is SEO-friendliness—in fact, Google has openly endorsed this route from a search engine perspective, for example since separate URLS aren’t needed and load times remain minimized thanks to avoiding device identification. The magic of responsive websites unfolds when the specifications of the CSS, or cascading style sheets, go to work. These rules ensure different screen resolutions receive different presentations. The HTML and content can remain the same, but the positioning of elements adapts (read: responds) accordingly.