You’ve likely been using the mobile web for years, even if you didn’t know it. The mobile web is the use of the internet through mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Mobile internet use bypassed regular forms of internet access back in 2014 and has only been increasing since. As technology continues to advance, mobile devices are offering more and more comparative services to traditional desktop computers or laptops. When you use an internet browser on your phone, you are using the mobile web. However, “…the line blurs when it comes to apps. Clearly, these still access the internet wirelessly, but some differentiate from a browser-based site, as compared to an app specific to one property.”.
One way that the mobile web is different is the screen size of mobile devices. Webpages need to be completely reconfigured to work well on mobile devices. Now that HTML5 is becoming more common, it is helping make sites easier to configure for the mobile web.
Mobile Web vs. Web App vs. Mobile App
In this section, we’ll compare mobile web to web applications and mobile applications.
A web application, also known as a web app, is application software, that, unlike computer-based software programs that are run on the computer operating system (OS) of a device, runs on a web server. Users access web apps through a web browser using the internet. “These applications are programmed using a client-server modeled structure-the user (“client”) is provided services through an off-site server that is hosted by a third-party.”. Online banking, online auctions, and online retail stores are all examples of regularly used web applications. Web applications can be accessed on the mobile web.
Mobile applications are commonly called “apps” and are what you download in your smartphone’s app store. They are a type of software that is made to run on a mobile device like a smartphone or a tablet. Many of the services you can find on a PC are also available as mobile apps, although “Apps are generally small, individual software units with limited function.”. Apple first popularized this type of software by offering thousands of applications for their mobile devices. Instead of the integrated software systems usually seen on PCs, “mobile apps provide limited and isolated functionality”. This means that mobile apps perform a specific function, which allows users to customize the functionality of their devices. Unlike web applications, which store their data on a third-party server, mobile apps usually store data locally on the mobile device.
Mobile Web Design
The process by which a website is optimized for mobile users is called mobile web design. Creating a positive user experience for mobile web users is imperative for the success of any business or organization these days. Most of the people using the internet these days are using the mobile web, and having a website that doesn’t load properly on the mobile web, or has some other kind of design flaw experienced by mobile web users, is a sure way to lose out on customers.
Good mobile design starts with designing for the smallest screen first, and then working your way out to larger screen sizes, like for tablets. This is called mobile-first design. Also important is having a responsive layout, that can change based on the size of the user’s screen, and which orientation they are holding it in. This is necessary to ensure the user is seeing as much content as possible. Having good mobile design also affects SEO, or how visible your website is in the search engines. Here are 7 ways to create excellent mobile design.
Use a solid information hierarchy.
Simple page layouts are best.
Ensure text readability and make touch targets big.
For data input, keep user effort to a minimum.
Optimize page speed.
Keep the visuals and the functionality consistent for mobile and desktop.
Make sure users can complete tasks on a different device.
Need Help with Mobility Services?
Building software for any application requires skilled engineering. We here at Encora know that a product is only as good as its testing, which is why we offer our expert software testing skills to our clients for their products. Mobile web design, web-based applications, and mobile applications will only be growing in use and popularity. Stay ahead of the curve with our mobile web design services. We help you to conceive, design, and deliver mobility solutions that elevate your customer experience, take full advantage of the latest mobile technologies, and increase your speed to market. Contact us today to get started.