We’ve gotten some questions recently about how to design a website to work in all environments – on desktops, laptops, smart phones and iPads. There’s a lot to consider, such as thoroughly testing functionality or building a separate, mobile-specific version of the site.
The truth is, the vast majority of mid-sized companies and organizations are able to use one site to service all platforms as long as:
- The most important content and hero imagery fits nicely in a 1024x768 resolution
- Important content is 12 point text or higher (we prefer 13pt and up)
- The buttons and links are large enough for fingers to tap
- Flash animation is avoided (or you provide an HTML alternative)
- The site doesn’t rely on mouse events (like rollovers) in order to function
We’ve found that designing sites to fit well within 960 - 990 pixel width, with room to breath, generally makes for sites that translate well to the iPad and smart phones.
And keep in mind – the iPad and smart phones literally put your brand into the hands of your prospects. To take advantage of this more intimate brand experience, we’ve found that it’s a great idea to keep the top of your web pages clean and visual. This allows you to present mobile users with a compelling brand message, imagery, video and other appealing elements first, allowing them to scroll or click to reach more detailed content if they choose.