Dennis Kardys is the lead user experience designer at WSOL. He spends most of his time helping clients understand the value of user centered design and challenging their assumptions about the web and mobile. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his design blog, RobotRegime.com.
When designing mobile first, navigation takes a back seat to content, and ruthless editing paves the way for more focused experiences. The pursuit of simplicity, combined with the tight spatial constraints of mobile viewports, often leads us to strip away elements in an attempt to minimize the interface. But the space-saving convenience we gain through clever editing and a compact UI can come at the expense of the very navigational aids our users rely on.
To help balance the craving for visual simplicity with the need to keep websites easy to navigate, we we can borrow some concepts from the world of wayfinding. This article shows how you can apply these concepts to the mobile web.
The mobile Web has gotten a bum rap. It spends most of its time either in the shadow of the desktop or playing the role of the native app’s frumpy friend. Luckily, we’ve got the tools to change that. Progressive enhancement, mobile-first and responsive design can help lead us towards a more unified, future-friendly Web. That’s the good news. The bad news? These tools are worthless if you don’t have license to use them.
What’s holding us back, in many cases, is our clients and the conceptual models they cling to. If our clients are to embrace the potential of the mobile Web, then we need to get them thinking beyond desktops and apps.