While structuring a mobile website, we must spend enough time on information architecture design, if the user has to spend too much time to locate the information he/she wants, they may get bugged and go away, no businessman or even normal user would like that, all web site owners certainly not going to allow that, here is some guide lines we should follow them:
- Define user personas: Who is going to use the web site? What’s the target market? In what circumstances will they come to the site? What’s the context? List down typical users who would use the application.
- Define user goals: What tasks do they want to achieve on the web site? Is there a better way of achieving these goals than a typical website flow? Why would they want to do this task over a mobile? How does your mobile site help them accomplish their goals?
- Define target devices: Do you want to limit to a particular set of devices? Or use some device-specific feature? Do you want to use SMS/Phone capabilities?
- Do paper prototypes: Sketch out the workflow for accomplishing user goals on paper (yes, pen and paper are still useful!).
- Test with real users: Show the prototype to real users and get their feedback, Make modifications, accordingly.
- Make XHTML prototype and test again: After you’ve passed the paper prototyping round, convert the prototypes into XHTML MP. Now test them on target mobile devices. Test them also with real users and make modifications till you get things right.
Here are also a few tips you can keep in mind when you work on your mobile websites:
- Take a minimum approach, remove everything that you can.
- Respect the user’s time, money, and attention. Don’t frustrate them.
- Do task centered design and focus on user goals.
- Give less choice no long menus, no long options, and no long pages.
- Maximum 10 links on a page.
- Navigation should be drill down, and contextual. Customize navigation, according to the page, no more than 5 levels of drilling down.
- No pages with just links to drill down further, make sure each page has valuable content. Even the homepage should have actionable content.
- Prioritize links and content. What’s more important goes to the top.
- Always provide a way to exit to home, and step back in the footer.
- Break lengthy/complicated forms into a wizard like step-by-step process.
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