Common Mistakes for Smartphone Sites
Some web developers are not yet accustomed to creating for the mobile audience. Best practices in a desktop site do not usually translate in the mobile world. Below are the common mistakes and how to avoid them.
A lot of videos playable in your desktop won’t play nice in a mobile environment. This is mostly due to requiring software or device capabilities that smartphones don’t support due to licensing issues. Use HTML5 standard tags to include videos and avoid content in formats like Flash that are not supported by all mobile devices.
Despite this, always try your best to offer smartphone users the best experience possible and make sure that videos will play on most devices.
Websites will have dedicated pages for smartphones that will redirect based on the user-agent. A common error is to redirect a user trying to access a URL on the desktop site to an irrelevant URL on the mobile site. Also, wrong redirects might occur on some devices but not others. For example, a site may redirect only iPhone users to the mobile site and not redirect Android and Windows Phone users.
Desktop users will have no problem accessing certain URLs but for mobile users, the said pages will show an error. For the best user experience, if you recognize a user is visiting a desktop page from a mobile device and you have an equivalent smartphone-friendly page at a different URL, redirect them to that URL. Don’t lead them to a 404 page. Also, if the content has no mobile version yet, link them to the desktop version instead of a 404 page.
A lot of mobile website will have a mobile app counterpart. Some webmasters like to promote the app when you’re visiting the site. This can be a disruptive experience for the user. A recommended alternative is to use a simple banner to promote the app inline with the page’s content. This can be done via native browser and operating system support or an html page similar to a typical advert that is linked to the app store.
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