Designing Websites for iPhone Viewing
Submit Articles Back to Articles
How would your website look on a hand held device? Is it easy to navigate? Is
the most important information readily available to your visitors? Is your
website "mobile Web" ready?
Ten years ago most small business owners didn't have a website and probably
didn't see the need for one. Now, a business without a website is considered
second rate at best. A website is a necessity for doing business in the 21st
century. Also a necessity in the 21st century is a website that can be easily
viewed on a hand held device.
According to the latest statistics, only 11% of Americans are getting their
news and information using the browser in their mobile phone. That doesn't seem
too impressive until you look at the enormous popularity of Apple's new iPhone
and realize that "the times, they are a changing." In the next few years, the
popularity of surfing the net on your mobile Web is going to skyrocket.
Hand Held Devices Are the Future
Mobile devices are the future of the Internet. According to a November 27,
2007 article in the New York Times, "More than 30 companies have signed up for
the Open Handset Alliance from Google, which aims to bring the wide-open
development environment of the Internet to mobile devices." If Google is getting
involved in this effort to broaden the use of the Internet on hand held devices,
you can be sure that this is not just a passing trend.
The incredible popularity of the iPhone is leading the way to a new website
platform for businesses. As the Web technologies for mobile devices continue to
improve, more and more people are going to be using their iPhone or Blackberry
to connect to the Internet. However, even though the improved Internet
navigation capabilities of the iPhone make it easier for users to connect to the
Internet, there is still one big problem with mobile devices. Small screens make
for difficult viewing.
Most Websites Look Terrible on a Mobile Device
Unfortunately, shrinking a website to fit on the screen of an iPhone or a
Blackberry usually leads to difficulty viewing and finding information. A smart
business owner will make sure their website can be viewed easily on both a
desktop and a mobile device.
Here are some pointers in getting your website mobile ready:
*Don't use flash. The screen is too small and flash is just plain annoying.
Besides, the iPhone browser doesn't support flash.
*Get a .mobi extension for your website. Available since September 2006, over
500,000 .mobi domains have been registered. Go Daddy and Network Solutions both
offer .mobi registration (and mobile specific site building tools).
*Use easy to read fonts. Make sure your website uses Verdana or Ariel fonts.
Also use black fonts on a white background; the greater contrast makes for
*Keep it vertical. On a mobile device the user can only move up and down, not
sideways. Your website content needs to be set up so that most important
information is centered within the website.
*Keep the costs down. Unfortunately, using a mobile Web is not a flat rate in
most situations, so users are looking for information quickly. Help them out by
using informative headlines, subheadings and bulleted lists. Don't make them go
deeper into your website to get answers.
*Design for simplicity. A small screen is difficult to read, so you may need
to reconsider the look of your website. A graphic dominant website is probably
not a good choice for a small screen. Streamline the look of your website and
concentrate on the message. Zero in on what specific information your customers
need and give it to them.
*No second chances. On a regular website, you can move around with a back or
forward button. On a hand held device you only have a stop button. So, you need
to get it right the first time and make sure your website has the right answers.
Getting a website mobile Web ready may include redesigning the current site
or completely building another site just for the mobile devices. Each business
owner needs to evaluate the situation and make choices depending on what they
want to accomplish. But whether you make changes or not, the Internet is moving
off the desktop into the hands of your customer. Now is the time to get a jump
on the competition.
About the Author
Michelle Howe, MBA, president of Internet Word Magic, specializes in writing
irresistible copy for websites. Transform the way you do business. Visit her
http://www.InternetWordMagic.com for a FR^EE chapter download of her new
book "Turn Browsers into Buyers".
Follow us @Scopulus_News
Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-12-10 20:00:02 in Computer Articles