“Mobile first” is the mantra on the lips of most mobile evangelists. The trouble is, the advice of many experts to start fresh with a new mobile design, optimize for performance, and try to accommodate all mobile devices both common and uncommon — this ends up being quite a daunting list. And it can frighten many web designers away from trying to embrace mobile design at all.
But as with anything that is completely new, it is a lot easier to ease into it rather than jump directly into the deep end. Plus, if you’re like most web designers, you have existing web sites that could benefit from some mobile love, yet aren’t likely to be getting a completely new mobile-oriented redesign (either due to time or cost).
Mobilizing web sites encourages web designers to optimize existing web sites for mobile presentation, and to do so incrementally starting with screen layout, navigation, typography, images, forms, and content. Doing this, while aiming for the most common mobile platforms first, gets you to most mobile devices in the least amount of time. Then, taking a product-managed approach, you can continue to progressively enhance your site to improve performance and broaden device support.
Don’t set your expectations too high and think that getting into mobile web design requires perfection. Just get started! Then as you learn more and gain a better appreciation of mobile’s context and constraints, you can raise your expectations and fine-tune your focus.
Mobilizing web sites: start optimizing your corner of the web for mobile presentation today.
9th–13th March 2012