One of the more recent challenges facing the modern business world is identifying efficient and cost-effective means for leveraging the mobile market. When businesses consider reaching out to the mobile community, they typically have two major options: create native apps that are downloaded and installed on mobile devices, or create/enhance a website that is optimized for viewing and interacting from a mobile device. While the former solution involves specialized information and skills (i.e. programming in one or several mobile platforms’ native languages), the latter solution can be accomplished with varying degrees of investment…
Creating a mobile website can be as simple as modifying the presentation layer (i.e. the cascading style sheets) of your existing website to meet the needs of mobile devices, or as complex as creating a new set of web pages with separate content, behavior and presentation that is, again, optimized for interaction on several mobile devices. In either case, one must be careful to consider that not all mobile devices are created equal. Given this caveat, as well as considering the content and functionality you’re looking to provide mobile users, there are several items that need to be considered in order to create a successful mobile website:
What needs are you trying to address through your mobile website?
Which mobile devices are you looking to target on your new/enhanced website?
What should happen if a mobile device lacking support for certain features lands on your website?
As you begin to design and implement this website you need to keep in mind that there is a wide array of mobile devices currently out on the market. Each of the varying categories of mobile devices provides support for certain specifications and functionalities that may or may not be present on your website. It’s critical that while you design your website to provide robust functionality to the higher-end devices, that you also allow lower-end devices to interact gracefully with your site as well. The combination of these ideas are what should form the foundation to your design strategy as you move forward with building a mobile website for your business.
Keep in mind that in addition to forming a strategy for your mobile website (based on the answers to the above questions) you also need to consider some of the behaviors of mobile web users. These users are known for their focus on social communication, fast download times, using technology to bridge the gap between personal and professional lives, and using mobile websites to accomplish a specific task with as few steps as possible. Particular attention needs to be given to these behaviors when designing and developing a mobile website as it will greatly benefit your business and the way mobile users interact with your website.
Now that you have a general overview for considerations that need to be made for designing and creating a mobile website for your business the next step should be continuing your investigation until you are able to put a formal plan together. Once your plan has been solidified you can invoke the service of a talented web developer to implement your mobile website.
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