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Guidelines to Mobile Platform Conversion

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In today’s society, we carry the web around on our phone. We click and browse our favourite sites, whether it be when we’re commuting or while we’re waiting for our meals to be served. The convenience of access to the internet has become one of our generation’s biggest commodities. Mobile web browsing signifies the evolution of accessibility to information on the web and, just like Darwin’s theory of evolution, we have to adapt to our ever-evolving environment for us to survive and thrive. Let’s talk about the ways for us to meet today’s ever-growing information needs on a smaller screen.

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Adapting visuals from larger to smaller screens

One of the many ways to adapt is by ensuring the images used on the desktop are translatable onto a smaller screen. The challenge would be finding the ideal size for the small screen without losing the information available on the larger screen. Images can also hinder visibility of information on the smaller screen. Animations used on desktop must also be reintegrated to account for the transition of interactivity. Carefully selecting images and animations used can also reduce the load time and enhance usability.

Compression of information

When moving from a larger screen to a smaller one, information needs to be relayed using less amount of screen estate. One way of achieving this is to use icons in place of information by tapping into the user’s ability to recognise information through icons. Icons help maximise the use of screen space without compromising the way information is communicated to the users whilst at the same time increasing the readability.

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Information presentation

Data transmission is also a major factor that must be considered when designing for the mobile platform. Reducing the amount of data being loaded on the mobile screen can improve navigation and the ability to scroll through content. Prevent using videos as a major source of information on the mobile platform as this will drain users’ mobile data. Instead, try using moving static images like GIFs or a slider of images to relay the information.

Flow of information

Having the right flow of information can capture a user’s attention.  Mobile users are often browsing websites hastily, hence having the important information displayed in the right location can help retain the users. Most users decide if they are going to continue browsing the site at their first glance. So, placing vital information at the top of the landing page can ensure that users are able to easily attain information they need. Combining this method with scannable text can improve the efficiency of readability.

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 Keep it familiar

The design of the mobile platform should not stray far from the original desktop design. User interaction should remain familiar to prevent users from learning to navigate the web page from scratch. Although moving information from a larger screen to a smaller one may sacrifice certain elements of the website, the website brand, such as fonts, colours, images and logos, should be recognisable and not misplaced.

Designing for a smaller screen is definitely a challenge but, by following these simple guidelines, we can adapt to the ever-evolving demand of today’s society and provide them with the accessibility to information without compromising the content of the brand.

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By Bei Xian Koh


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