It is so important these days that websites can be accessed from mobile devices because so many people now use mobiles to surf the internet whether for shopping, social networking or finding information. If you run an online business, has your site been developed for other platforms? If it has not, you could be missing out on a good deal of business. If you are not sure what any of this means or how it might affect you, take a look at these articles below.
The term “Mobile Web” (although often criticized) is commonly used to describe accessing the internet using a mobile device. This definition is broad enough to cover everything from using a browser on a feature phone, to using highly customized apps on smartphones or tablets. “There’s an app for that” has made device-specific applications the rage of the day, with some companies starting off backwards with “we need an iPhone app” instead of first understanding what their users actually need when they are mobile, the devices that they use, and then deciding the best approach for going mobile, which may not be an app, but could be a mobile website instead. Mobile websites are universally accessible, less expensive to develop and maintain, and can be searched and accessed by most mobile phones.
(The term “Mobile Web” is criticized because it implies that there are “different” Webs which just isn’t true — there is no Desktop Web, for example. It makes more sense to speak of the websites optimized for users accessing those websites through mobile devices. We will be using this perspective in this article. — Smashing Editorial Team)
This article focuses on designing the user experience for mobile websites accessed from mobile phones with small screens, though the process can be applied to building apps as well. As a Web designer, the good news is that the process is similar to designing desktop websites — with some additional mobile-only considerations that go hand-in-hand with small screens, device features and constraints, and connectivity issues.