How has the popularity of mobile pages changed the way you complete content?
How do user-friendly mobile pages require different skill sets than traditional web pages?
To design for mobile, It needs a different perspective and approach than new skill set. Some things I do and consider are listed below. This is in no way an exhaustive list.
1. My thought process for mobile design involves an awareness of the difference in how users interact when using the same app or website on a mobile. For example, users consume more than they create on a mobile due to the small real estate and the users are mostly on the go – either walking or travelling when they use your app/website. So, you need to be aware of exactly what functions they will need to perform while on the go. I use two methods for that…
a. Observation of the users in their environment. – This will help you understand what they do with your website/app, what functions they need, the flow of how they use the app/website, etc..
b. Testing in a controlled environment. – This will help you test specific functions and understand the user frustrations with that functionality.
2. I have changed my design process to mobile-first. I think about the experience on mobile, then a tablet and then desktop. I apply the same process while coding.
3. I design for touch meaning I take into account the fact that everyone is different. So, when you add a button, you need to consider that your users will have fingers of different shapes/sizes and hence I make sure there is enough space around the button to prevent the user from clicking the nearby element.
4. Also, I apply the KISS principle for content, forms and navigation. Because users on mobile are mostly on the go, there is every chance that they are feeling rushed and hence the user will not be able to give a 100% attention to your app/website. By keeping the content clear and focused you give the information your users need at a glance. I use very simple and short forms with consideration for label placements, auto-fills, etc.. Simple navigation means the users can find what they want easily.
5. I try to leverage mobile specific features. Say, use GPS to provide location specific content. I also try to optimize media for mobile in terms of size, resolution, etc..