Mobile App Best Practices (and Why Mobile Doesn’t Always Win)
LukeW’s latest event summary from the Google Chrome Dev Summit has some interesting tidbits and some good–if obvious–advice:
- Don’t size your media queries to specific devices, size them based on where content/design breaks.
- Use specialized input types in forms to increase accuracy of text input in mobile forms. Take advantage of autocomplete by using common field names.
- If users can’t read text, it doesn’t matter how beautiful your font is. 12pt, 1em. 16 pixels is a minimum for legibility. Good line height and contrast also impact legibility.
Although I have to take some issue with this bullet:
53% of the top 1,000 Alexa sites don’t have mobile Web experiences. These get scaled down to fit. 25% of theses sites don’t even fit on the screen.
…I have to take issue with. The mantra of the now-trendy user experience field is user need. Why, then, do we think all sites have to abide by the same mobile experience?
In my industry–composed entirely of B2B traffic–our mobile adoption spiked at 1.2%. For the explosive growth the web in general has seen in the mobile sector, my experience is that it hasn’t translated to business purchases.
At the same time, mobile has opened new opportunities for us that we’ve taken advantage of with native applications.
Responsive and mobile-first design will eat into a number of those 53% over time, as they get you “mobile for free”. But, I think it’s smart to keep in mind that the long tail of the web is bigger than the giants at the short head and their needs will not always align.
Not having a mobile website in 2014 sounds archaic, but for many site owners, it’s really good business sense.