While I enjoy high energy focused furious design sessions, this is not what this post is about! Instead it is another take on the "60 seconds delight". When your mobile user opens your mobile website or your mobile app you typically have only a few minutes of their media time to deliver value. The design can make or break this fast and furious browsing experience.

A mSite needs to be fast to download, an App needs to fast to open.

When it is open the user needs to be able to scan the content quickly and then interact at high speed.

Your design causes your user to have to think harder which slows down the speed of using your app, and ruins the enjoyment!

Here are some guidelines to help you achieve a fast design...

  1. Think carefully about your content. Make it simple - this means you must spend most of your design time removing content!
  2. Use CSS3 and HTML 5 to save on image use (within reason), this will reduce download time over a slow network
  3. Super compress your images, it matters even more than on a desktop
  4. Don't just cut and paste huge blocks of text from your desktop website - you need to rewrite it to concise and short summaries.
  5. Avoid complex navigation and provide simple easy buttons for your user to tap on.
The aim is for simplicity, fast download and fast interaction. When reviewing your design look at each hyperlink and every button, is it needed? Consider all your text, could be shorter, easier to read and more to the point?
Remember that simplicity is not just fallen over, it is the result of super cool design. You need to get down to the details and consider every element of each screen and consider if the element should stay or be improved.
The prize for your detail obsession is a an app or mobile site that delivers your users and your company value. By understanding that mobile web usage is made up of many small slices of time throughout the day at different locations via different networks will help you deliver an app that people like to use. Don't try to push desktop web user behaviour onto mobile web users. It WILL NOT work.
AuthorDave Martin