A Word to Mobile Marketers: Dumb it Down.

 By 2010, over 300 million people  will be using mobile phones and PDA’s. The five big verticals of mobile marketing and search will be : Consumer Package Goods, Fast Food, Entertainment, Travel, and Financial. Two other  industries not to ignore however, are gaming and adult.  In all of these market segments though, there will always be a need to vomit the information to the consumer, if you will.

Graphic analogies aside, what marketers need to have, to steal a line from “Top Gun”. Is a “need for speed”. having said that, internet marketers and web designers have to build their mobile sites in a completely different way for mobile users. Below is a short list of things that will need to be done in order for the experience to be a positive one for mobile users.

1) Keep the layout simple and compliant to the device(more on this later)

2) Small URL’s. At some point, someone will have to type in your mobile URL into their device.

3) No Forms. Why you would want forms on a mobile site escapes me, but if you stay in the business long enough, you tend to see it all.

4) Make the naviagtion simplistic and linear. Keep the user going down  a logical path.

5) Be specific in the content, so that the user finds what they are looking for quickly. Bear in mind that mobile users have an immediate need and reason for surfing mobile content, give them a quick result.

6)  Limit the number of clicks and drill downs for the user to get their information.

7)  Refrain from using graphics and ads. They will only cloud the page and the result and slow the results to a crawl.

8)  No scripting, no plugines and no tables.

9) Try and develop a page that can be navigated using one hand. I know it’s virtually impossible but, put yourself in the users place.

10) Make the content accessible regardless of device and regardless of bandwidth needs.

11) Keep the following specs in mind as well:

  • 120 pixel screen width
  • Use XHTML
  • Use UTF-8 character encoding
  • Use JPEG’s and GIF’s
  • Page size should be 20Kb’s
  • Color: 256 min.
  • No scripting
  • Css1 style sheets
  • Http/1.0
  • No image maps
  • Limit Links

You’ll save yourself a lot of grief and headaches if you, wanting to cash in on mobile marketing, subscribe to certain design constraints when building your mobile ready websites. I know there are others that still need to be discussed, but the above should help in at least giving you a small checklist to utilize in your quest to be part of the next great marketing boom. Remember KISS! (Keep it simple, stupid.)

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8 thoughts on “A Word to Mobile Marketers: Dumb it Down.

  1. Pingback: Mobile Zeitgeist

  2. Pingback: Mobile Marketing - Keep it simple » Mobile Zeitgeist

  3. Pingback: Carnival of the Mobilists #99: Time to Give Thanks? « Ubiquitous Thoughts

  4. Nice post. In Australia, we’re just getting into mobile, but it’s frontier days. I’ve just fired up my blog to try to ‘keep it real’. Your post really nailed it for me. Kudos. Dugg, Stumbled and Netvibed. peace. alex

  5. Nice article. You say a lot of things that are in common with what Bango and .mobi say about mobile marketing – it’s good to see people thinking about this now. There are some good comments worth checking out on http://forums.bango.com.

    Bango have also just come out with a strange but cool new PC widget called a Bango button – it lets you publish photos and music to handsets from a PC website without needing to develop any mobile sites. Check out http://www.myspace.com/moonlife for a good example. I always said 80’s synth pop was on the way back! 🙂

  6. No Forms? I disagree.

    There are only two types of forms which accept human input that are user friendly on a mobile device. Im not talking about checkboxes or select fields.

    These two forms are
    1) Enter Zipcode to receive localized infomation
    2) Enter phone number to get some SMS or MMS or Signup for an alert.

    Why only these two? What about an email address? NO, becuase there is no scripting to to validate and its difficult for a user to type in the @ and . for an email address.

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