What makes mobile web design different from other web design?
One big difference is the screen size. Mobile devices will typically have much smaller dimensions than desktop computers, meaning that the same layouts will not necessarily work as effectively.
There are two ways to get around this problem. One is by using a separate ‘mobile site’ that will work with mobile devices specifically. Another is to use responsive design, which means your site will alter dynamically to suit the display it’s being viewed on. Responsive design is by far the preferable approach and has multiple advantages over other strategies – being viewable on a much wider range of devices for instance.
Other considerations also need to be made. Will your choice of typeface work on a smaller display? Do you have too many elements resulting in a crowded look?
Mobile web design also means taking into account the practical considerations of a mobile site. Touch interfaces for example will always be different from point and click interfaces – with things like drop down menus being untenable. Other elements like Flash animations simply won’t load on mobile devices and need to be dropped entirely. Page load time optimization is always important with any website but it becomes even more crucial when a mobile user is viewing your site through their data plan.