Recommendations for Mobile Site from IAB – Use seven links or fewer per page of navigation

IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) has come up with some nifty recommendations for mobile sites and is a must read for newbies out there. In no particular order, here are recommendations we found very important for you to be in the know of:

Redirects

A mobile site redirect is code that can automatically tell if visitors are using a mobile device and send them to the mobile-friendly version of your site. Have your site developer implement this redirect code so your customers get the best version of your site for their needs.mobile_site
- Give users a choice to go back to the desktop site, but make it easy to return to the mobile site.
- Let users choose which version they prefer to see for later visits.

Seamless

People now use multiple screens throughout the day. Convert as much of the functionality of your desktop site to mobile as you can to create a seamless experience.
- Allow users to save popular searches and shopping cart contents.
- Maintain key features of site across all channels as much as possible (like pricing of product/services).

Speed

Mobile users are often short on time, squeezing in online tasks as they go about their day. To help them, design your site to load fast and make copy easy to read.

- Prioritize the content and features that mobile users need most. Use your desktop site analytics to see what mobile users are doing.
- Reduce large blocks of text and use bullet points for easy reading.

Navigation

- Minimize scrolling and keep it vertical only.
- Use a clear hierarchy in menus and avoid rollovers.
- Help users navigate between levels with  clear back and home buttons.
- Use seven links or fewer per page of navigation.
- Have a search box prominently available on complex sites

Thumb Friendly

People use their fingers to operate mobile devices—especially their thumbs. Design your site so even large hands can easily interact with it.
- Use large, centred buttons and give them breathing room to reduce accidental clicks.
- Pad smaller buttons to increase the clickable area.
- Pad check boxes by making the text clickable.

Colors

A mobile-friendly site gets its message across without causing eyestrain. Make it easy for your customers to read—remember, they may be in a place with low light.

- Create contrast between background and text.
- Make sure content fits on screen and can be read without pinching and zooming.
- Use plenty of negative space.
- Use size and color to indicate link/button priority.
- Use 3D effects and shadowing for buttons.

Make it Accessible

Ideally, your mobile site should work across all mobile devices and all handset orientations.
- Find alternatives to Flash—it does not work on some devices.
- Use HTML5 for interactivity and animation.
- Adapt your site for both vertical and horizontal orientations.
- Keep users in the same place when they  change orientation.

Some of the other key recommendations are

- Make it easy to buy something or contact you!
- Keep forms short and use the fewest number of fields possible.
- Use check boxes, lists and scroll menus to make data entry easier.
- Use click-to-call functionality for all phone numbers.

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