In today’s mobile first commercial environment, online business owners and marketers must consider the limitations that smart phones and tablets place on graphic output. There are many standards that have been trending for years that address this concern. Here are some of the stylish ways that you can simplify your web design for mobile consumers.
Flat and Material Design
Flat design is based on vector design, a discipline of digital style that focuses on geometric shapes as the basic objects instead of points. In the hands of a professional, the result is a more cartoonish yet just as striking image as the type of images that could come from a hand-drawn discipline. Because vector shapes create images more quickly, art designs created using flat design take up a fraction of the space of hand-drawn art or point basis art.
Material design is a response to flat design from Google that upgrades the look without increasing the resources used for artwork. Generally speaking, material design is flat design with low capacity and high impact shadowing and depth effects that give a more textured look to flat design artwork. You have definitely seen these designs on all mobile websites and maybe some desktop websites as well, as it has basically been the standard for the past 2 to 3 years.
Another mobile friendly technique that is used by many professional web designers is the card layout design. Because the mobile environment does not easily lend itself to clicking through pages and opening different tabs, the card layout is a layout that places subsections of a website on the same page. Each subsection is usually labeled by an enticing piece of artwork that speaks to the theme of that particular sub page, and in most cases, these pieces of art are material design pieces.
You can find the card layout on many laptop websites that have a mobile component, as the architecture of the layout actually translates well on bigger screens. The current generations of the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation and Xbox also use card layouts for many menu screens.
If you have ever wondered why your laptop screen scrolls in a weird way when you visit certain websites, you are likely on a translated mobile website with a big background. Because the visual space of the mobile environment is substantially smaller than a laptop or desktop, there is usually only room for one image on a landing page. Web designers have taken advantage of this fact rather than allowing it to inhibit their efforts, creating a standard for a single large picture with a white space text overlay that has proven to be very effective at getting people’s attention.
In most cases, these big backgrounds will scroll down into other sections on the same page. This comes from the fact that mobile culture lends itself to scrolling up and down much more easily than side to side.