Nearly half of all internet users are using a mobile device to access it. I just read a report predicting that by 2015, mobile users will overtake people using PCs. So you can bet this mobile website thing isn’t going anywhere for a while. Designing for mobile devices comes with its own set of issues: designing for a variety or screen sizes, load speeds, making buttons large enough to not be accidentally clicked by those with larger-than normal thumbs, etc. Sometimes you can get away with a site performing double-duty, and just use what you have for mobile devices as well. Sometimes that just isn’t a feasible option.
When designing a dedicated mobile website, either for yourself or for a client, you must keep the above rules in mind, but there is no rule that says it has to be a bare-bones snore-fest either. I would compare it to decorating a studio apartment – its a limited space, but if you work smart, you can still fit in all the essentials, and make it inviting as well. Here are ten examples of mobile sites that have done an amazing job with a limited amount of real estate, and are simple and easy to navigate.
Branding & interactive agency
This site does a great job of presenting eye-catching work in a straightforward grid, with 2 simple navigation items at the top.
Business to business and consumer direct marketing agency
Simple navigation is boosted by a strong focal image with a clear marketing message.
Dribbble’s mobile site
This fun and simple offshoot of Dribbble takes their clean interface and makes it even cleaner for mobile, letting the showcased work take the lead.
Digital creative design studio
Minimal and retro, this page features an easy dropdown menu and homepage mini-slider.
Web development portfolio
Super quirky and retro, this mobile site has a rich feel, but it still employs a pared-down navigation to keep things simple.
Digital designer portfolio
The colors, the typography choices and the imagery all add to the fun, clean nature of this designer’s mobile site.
Visual creative group
Big menu items and even bigger typography make a big impact on this site. I also love the subtle use of lighting effects on the navigation.
Bold use of color and shading not only brand the site very well, but make it really easy to find your way around as well.
Music producer, DJ and record label owner
With a dramatic full-bleed background image and prominent navigation placement, its easy to catch up on this guy’s music, and even download podcast episodes.
Graphic design portfolio
With a simple yet striking interface, you know exactly where to go to check out this guy’s work, contact him, even add him on Facebook or LinkedIn.
What do you think of these examples? Have a favorite, or another one to share?