Web Design is Tricky Business – Adding Mobile Device Design

First, I applaud all the great web designers out there. I know you don’t get enough credit for what you do.

Now to get down to why web design (lately) is tricky business.

I have been designing web sites for 15 yrs now and each time I begin a new project I need an assortment of details to do my job right.

The client has to be interviewed, answering some key questions, such as:

  • Can you tell me about your company, your goals and aspirations?
  • Who is your exact target audience? Let’s talk demographics…
  • Have you seen some direct competitors you’d like to share with me?
  • Are there websites out there you’ve seen that you like?
  • Do you have a brand identity and marketing materials already printed you can share?

Mobile vs Desktop - responsive web design
When I’m designing… I must wear three hats at once. I’m creating a website that I like, my client will like, and the exact target audience will like, but it goes much deeper than that. I’m also loading all the elements needed, such as their logo, testimonials from happy customers, opt-in for email marketing, social media icons, copylines and headlines, photos or artwork, video and more. Then I must work to make sure that each element needed is seen by the eye in exactly the order I want the visitor to view it. Leading them by the hand to go and click where I’ve directed them to, all while making sure the page loads instantly and catches their attention in 3-5 seconds flat.

So many times I’m looking at my layouts and moving items around, changing colors even if ever so slightly, always keeping in mind who the target visitor is and being sure my client is thrilled at the outcome.

Today, even if your a pro at this, our technology is changing constantly and now we must think “responsive web design.” This means we are designing not just for the web on a wide screen monitor or laptop, but for mobile devices. Are we to rethink everything we’ve learned or do we just design additional versions now for alternate devices?

Two weeks ago I attended a free seminar at Noble Desktop on “Responsive Web Design” which was very informative and I learned a lot about how to think iphone and ipad, but I’m not sure I could start a web design thinking simplistic elements and then build on that. I think instead I’d create an alternate more simplified version after the larger one.

So, I’m asking the web designers out there, how will you address mobile devices in addition to desktop versions as we move forward?

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