We all laughed when Apple came out with the iPhone 6 Plus. Why? Because it seemed huge! "Only Magic Johnson could hold that phone and have it look like an actual hand held device!" we exclaimed. Well, we were wrong. Now your mother has it. Your teenage son. Your tiny female co-worker. Why? Because we use our phones for everything—and the bigger the screen, the easier it is to live on the go.
We’re constantly moving. Instead of sitting at our computer and booking a flight, we jump on Expedia while sitting in the pickup line, waiting to get the kids afterschool. And think about the paper maps we used to keep in our glove compartments… they’ve become all but obsolete with iPhone and Samsung's Map applications. And of course Google Maps, so readily understandable (I mean, they talk to you… it doesn’t get much easier than that!). With so much demand for mobile web content, web designers have been forced to change the way they create. To help you understand just how demanding this shift has been, and to make the process easier if you’re undergoing it yourself, we’ve put together a cohesive list of the three most important changes web design has undergone of late.
- Responsive Web Design: In short, this means that when you open a page, the layout or content automatically adapts to the size of the phone on which you're launching the site. Responsive web design allows, if nothing else, for users to have the best, simplest experience.
- Space Between Content: When you're using your finger on a small screen to navigate a website, things can get messy. More often than not, if there isn't enough space between content (buttons, hyperlinks) we'll click the wrong thing, back to go "back", and it's just a pain. Adding space between links--say, 10 or 15 pixels--is a standard rule of thumb, no pun intended, from a design standpoint.
- No More Side Bar: Displaying your website centrally, as opposed to adding links on the side of the page, will allow for easier navigation on mobile devices of all kinds. Sure, if you're visiting a site on a Tablet or iPad, it's easier to click around, zoom into the side bar, etc. But when you're on a phone, this kind of course plotting gets tricky. You may even consider putting your logo in the center of the page—the centralization renders a sharper, more concise look that appeals to users of all types of mobile devices.
And there you have it. Clearly, creating complex, zoom-in-zoom-out-type mobile websites are a thing of the past. If you need to do all that work just to see where to click, your site really isn’t up to snuff in the year 2016. We have the tools to make viewing websites on mobile devices easier, so why not take advantage? It was true five plus years ago, and it's true now... complex web design for mobile repels users. In the beginning of the 2000s, we were just excited to have access to our favorite sites while sitting on a beach some place. That said, you might have been getting away with that repel factor in 2008, but you won't today. If you don’t make changes to your mobile site like the ones listed above, your once loyal fan or customer base is likely to dwindle considerably.