According to ComScore, more than 234 million Americans are using mobile devices — 28% of them to surf the Web. Quantcast’s August 2010 data shows that the iPhone and iPod Touch together claim 56 percent market share, Android devices 23 percent, and RIM BlackBerrys 10 percent. Given these statistics, a mobile presence has quickly become essential for every business regardless of industry or location.
The Mobile User is Easily Frustrated
Mobile users are different. Unlike the visitors to your online website, they are constrained by time, space and the limited screen size. When they find you via the mobile channel, they have a different set of needs than those people using your website. A Mobile User is usually out and about, at the mall, sitting in an airport, parked in their car. Most times, they are using their phone for a quick search. They are easily distracted and have no patience. They also have little time to research and even less time to familiarize themselves with a new way of navigating. They are easily frustrated. So don’t frustrate them.
Give Your Mobile Site a Clean & Simple Design
Your mobile site needs to engage your customers immediately or you risk losing them. Your mobile home screen must therefore be simple and invite them to explore and learn more. You should not present your visitors with too many options. Promote only the most important content. Ensure that features and buttons are easy to use for someone on the go. All of this means that your mobile site’s design should be appealing but also uncluttered.
Given these differences, the design and functionality of your mobile website will be founded on the following 20 rules.
1. Less is more on the mobile channel
2. Keep the design clean & simple
3. Use basic fonts
4. Help visitors find what they want in the easiest, fastest way possible
5. Eliminate features such as Flash which slow performance
6. Use a single-column structure
7. Avoid subtlety – use high contrast colors that enhance reading
8. Use short page titles and URLs
9. Promote only the most important information
10. Make the site viable across all mobile devices and channels
11. Optimize design and layout for each specific device and screen
12. Make Contact Us a one-touch feature
13. Leverage design & functionality considered “Best Practices”
14. Minimize clicks
15. Minimize the use of images
16. Limit scrolling to one direction – vertical
17. Eliminate pop-ups and open windows
18. Optimize page load times
19. Optimize for the leading browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Chrome, Safari)
20. Optimize for search engines
Originally Posted at Mobile Mavens.