1. Simple. Less is More.
When it comes to mobile websites, simplicity is key. Because of the lack of space on the screen and Internet connections that are often slower, it’s important for visitors to have access to what is most crucial, and as little else as possible. You need to prioritize content. Heavy Content makes your app/site sluggish where 3G networks aren’t available.
2. Analyze Customer Flows. Especially the negative ones.
A typical Mobile App / website user is not like a desktop user and would browse your app/site while waiting in the car, driving (risky but it happens) and will be frustrated by poor navigation schemes or unnecessary click paths. That’s why you should have rock-solid mobile information architecture after properly analyzing customer flows.
3. Design for different Screens.
Fragmentation in mobile devices is a reality. iPhone is 320 pixels wide by 480 pixels high, Nokia N-Series is 240 pixels wide by 320 pixels high, Blackberry screen resolutions range anywhere from 160 x 160 pixels all the way up to 324 x 352 pixels and many more. Use a database such as dotMobi’s DeviceAtlas or the open source WURFL to help your site detect visitors’ devices and then optimize for the most frequented mobile devices.
Both Google and Yahoo successfully use user locations to tailor their local search results. Using mobile context both makes the user’s life easier and your application smarter. Leverage that.
5. Validate with Guidelines.
Check your site complies to industry standards with dotMobi’s mobiReady or the World Wide Web Consortium’s mobileOK. For a mobile app, always validate with the app platform, which may be Apple, Android, Blackberry or any other.
6. Test, Test, Test.
You may use emulators and desktop browsers to test your mobile website or app but there are many elements of mobile device usage that can’t be replicated accurately in this way. Devote a good amount of time to testing and fine tuning on different devices. You can also leverage mobile testing clouds for the same.