Created 2nd April 2012
Mobile Web Design: A Devon Web Designer's Perspective on an Important Emerging Market
With the prevalence of instantaneous electronic communication in the world today, it’s surprising how little this rich market is exploited. According to wiki.answers.com, an estimated 40 million people in the UK have mobile phones. This translates to an amazing 62.5 million devices in a total population of about 60 million people. Put another way, there are about 1.8 mobile phones per person in the UK, meaning that a staggering 85% of the adult population owns a mobile phone. So, if your business isn’t taking advantage of this potentially rich market, you’re not doing all you could to increase your market share. Here’s some information about the mobile market I’ve taken from our expert website designers.
Mobile Web Design: What the Future Holds
With the incredible ubiquity of mobile phones comes an amazing opportunity to increase both sales and profits for all types of businesses. So, it’s essential that your web presence is tailored and calculated to take advantage of this largely untapped market. Also, it’s thought that millions of people in the UK will be using smartphones in 2012 and beyond, creating an astonishing new and vibrant market, say savvy web designers. Devon and Somerset are our target areas for helping businesses understand that the mobile phone has become an important vehicle by which people organise and manage their lives. The more active and mobile a population is, the more it needs a way to keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues. Simply ringing someone up at home is no longer adequate, because people are spending less and less time there. So, it often makes sense for a person to have two mobile phones — one for personal calls and another for business or professional calls.
Mobile Web Design: The Advent of the Smartphone
According to wikipedia.org, a smartphone is a mobile device that’s built on a platform specifically designed for mobile computing – are you targeting them to their full potential? A smartphone can be a digital camera, a media player, a video camera, a GPS-enabled navigation device and more. Many smartphones feature user-friendly touchscreens with high resolution. Perhaps the most important feature of a smartphone is that it’s able to display a standard Internet web page rather than one that’s been altered to display on mobile phones. In addition, smartphones offer high-speed access to date by way of mobile broadband and Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is an ethernet-based local area network that uses high-frequency radio signals to transmit and receive data over short distances, usually a few hundred feet.
Mobile Web Design: A Specialised Process
Because mobile phones have so many advanced features and capabilities that require the Internet for proper functioning, web designers predict that the market may grow by as much as 100% for these indispensable devices. Companies that don’t invest in the area of mobile web design may find themselves excluded from a rich and active market. Since designing such applications is a highly specialised process, it’s wise to engage designers with plenty of experience in doing so, because there are particular design and development practices that apply to mobile devices. Mobile web developers need to be circumspect when developing mobile applications, since the process can be somewhat restrictive. This is so because such applications, also called apps, are highly dependent on the type of browser used. Moreover, an app for a mobile device must be much more compact than what’s found on other devices, such as PCs and tablets. So, mobile web designers need to cultivate a way of thinking creatively about the apps they create, especially considering the small size that’s required.
Mobile Web Design: About the W3C
Our designers need to pack the same functionality into a much smaller, user-friendly and feature-rich app. This requires a specialised approach to mobile web design that’s radically different from conventional web design. In fact, there is a set of mobile web design guidelines that have been set by the W3C. W3C stands for “World Wide Web Consortium,” which is the main standards organisation for the Internet. Its mission is to develop the World Wide Web to its full potential by creating and promoting protocols and guidelines that ensure its long-term growth. It does so, in part, by promoting the social value of the Web, insofar as it enables human communication, commerce and the sharing of knowledge. W3C’s primary mandate is to make the benefits of the Internet available to all people, regardless of the software, hardware and network they use, as stated in W3C’s mantra, “web for all.” The intent is to create an Internet that’s accessible to people regardless of their native language, geographical location, culture or mental or physical ability.
Mobile Web Design: The Importance of WAP
For mobile apps to be truly available to all people, they need to exist on the same platform, regardless of device. To accomplish this, WAP comes into play. WAP stands for “Wireless Application Protocol”, which is an open and global set of specifications that apply to mobile devices. WAP designed to empower mobile users by allowing them to access and interact with services and information instantly. WAP is used mainly for browsing on mobile phones, and it requires refined designs that apply directly to these devices. It’s not enough simply to strip down an app for a mobile phone. Such an app requires a ground-up, specialised design. For that reason, many web designers create WAP-compliant designs that work for phones, as well as for tablets and PCs. Although this can be a complex activity, being proactive in an app’s design, layout and structure makes the information it contains easier to access on any mobile device’s operating system (OS), including, but not limited to, Windows Mobile and the iPhone platform. Other popular OSs are Palm, Mobile Linux, Android and BlackBerry.
To maximise success with apps for mobile phones, Oxygen’s Somerset and Devon web designers create a distinct identity for our clients on the Internet, using the latest technologies and development tools. Contact me for more details.