SSW Foursquare

Rules to Better Interfaces (Mobile) - 4 Rules

  1. Do you design for touch interfaces?

    With the internet moving so fast into the world of mobile devices, it's important to design for a variety of platforms. Many websites these days have a unique mobile optimized site which is great for usability.

    Although mobile browsers are capable of rendering your normal website, some functionality does not carry across. Touch screens have no concept of "hover" so drop down menus must be activated on click. Screen estimate and the precision of the user is impaired on touch devices, so links and other clickable objects need to be rendered bigger.

    The key thing to remember is that a mobile phone is a different device and have completely different use cases. EBay on a desktop can be used for a large variety of cases, including the creation of new bids, while EBay Mobile is primarily for checking activity while on the move. The focus of a mobile design for EBay centers on browsing, bidding and status updates for products - it doesn't need to cover all cases, just the right ones.

    True mobile interface design focuses that which is used on mobile and simplifies the process.

    TimePro NotMobile
    Figure: Bad Example - TimePro as it renders on mobile. It is near unusable!

    TimePro Mobile
    Figure: Good Example - TimePro designed for mobile.

  2. Do you add hyperlinks to phone numbers?

    Mobile device usage has been on the rise for years, driven by the increasing popularity and capabilities of smartphones and tablets. It's safe to say that, in the past years, the majority of internet users globally were accessing websites through mobile devices.

    Note: The exact percentage can vary based on geographic regions and demographics.

    Therefore, it is very important to hyperlink your phone number to increase the rate of conversion and improve the mobile user experience. This enables click and call, and eliminates the need to copy and paste phone numbers.

    Devices and computers that don’t have phone functionality will either open a phone app or add the number to a contact list.

    <a href="tel:+61299533000">+61 2 9953 3000</a>

    Figure: Good example – This is the syntax to hyperlink phone numbers

  3. Do you know when to build an iPhone app over an iPhone web app?

    It depends on:

    • Your Budget
    • Usage of native API
    • If you have an existing web app - in this case, it's easier to convert it to a web app by adding CSS

    Note: An iPhone (or WP7) web app without a network connection, will not load the web page you were on previously.

  4. Do you use Chrome DevTools Device Mode to design and test your mobile views?

    Making a responsive website work well on a mobile is not easy but with the right tools you can save time and avoid bugs. You should use Chrome DevTools Device Mode to test different screen sizes.

    bad rules testing responsivewebsites
    Figure: Bad example - Using your browser to test a responsive website layout

    2015 02 16 17 44 01
    Figure: Good example - Using Device Mode & Mobile Emulation in Chrome

    How to test a responsive website with Chrome DevTools Device Mode

    1. Watch this video below
    2. Read the documentation on the Chrome Developer Website.

    Additional resources:

We open source. Powered by GitHub