When you either design a website or oversee the design of one, it is easy to get caught up in what it looks like when you’re observing it rather than what it could look like or what it will look like on other devices. This is a big mistake of course, and it’s very important that you always bear in mind that your site is going to be seen on more than one device and that you think about what those other devices will look like.
Meanwhile nor is it enough anymore to simply make a ‘mobile’ version of a website and be done with it – as mobiles are no longer at all as clear cut as they once were with many different categories of devices and many things other than simple mobiles to consider. Here we will look at some of the different devices your site will most likely end up being viewed on and what you need to consider when catering to those specifications.
One the one hand there still will be mobile phones looking at your site and even today not all of these are going to be snazzy Androids or iPhones – some of them are going to be just good old fashioned phones that do what phones do with no bells or whistles (boring I know). It is for these sites that you will probably want a mobile version of your site because you’ll want to make your site easier to read for those people who don’t have access to a large monitor on the go. Make sure that you have an option that caters for even the smallest dimensions.
Smartphones come in all shapes and sizes from the rather large Galaxy Note to smaller options like the Ace. That said though, many people even on these smaller devices will still want a proper browsing experience to take advantage of their clever phones and that means you need to make a normal website that they are able to view and give them the option to do so. The best way to do this is with a site that has elements that rely on percentages and elements that rely on set DP. This way you can ensure that the site alters its shape to cater to these smaller devices, but also that it has limitations on how far it will stretch.
Netbooks are similar in size to actual monitors but of course slightly smaller. This means you need to check a few elements while keeping roughly the same site design. If you have a row of images for instance then don’t be surprised if some get pushed underneath.
Many people now also employ a site design that puts the menu down the right hand side. The reason for this is that it will allow smaller phones to view just the content rather than just the menu before scrolling, which is of course preferable.
Your site is likely to be viewed on tablets and these will largely be a similar size to a netbook or a laptop. The difference then is that these are going to use a touchscreen interface and that means that you will want to include some nice big links for them and make them look inviting to touch..
Monitors and TVs
You need to note that these can stretch up to 25” and beyond, so it’s very important that you make sure your site has a limit to how wide it will go and that you don’t end up with your content stretching ridiculously across the page.
But then there are countless other devices that a site can be viewed on too, from games consoles like the 3DS or PSP, or even some watches. The only way to check these is to test – but also make sure that you invite people to get in touch if they find any problems.
This guest post was written by Patrick. Designing websites for smartphones and tablets has become the most discussed topic at Patrick’s web development Melbourne company.