June 25, 2012

Why everyone should build a mobile site

We humans are extremely interesting creatures, and I never miss a chance to study how our behavior changes with the change in our surroundings.

Here I am going to tell you one of such examples.

In Delhi, summer and power cuts go hand in hand. They not only help government to manage the shortage of electricity in the city but are also the sole reason behind flourishing industry of inverter batteries in that region.

Powercuts are part of the daily routine for a Delhiite but did you ever notice the change in our behavior during power cuts?

The very first thing we do as soon as the main power goes is it to switch off all the unnecessary lights and fans. Infact we do the reverse, we only keep those lights on that are absolutely necessary.

It's a little funny, because we do not mind wasting electricity for which we are paying through our nose but try to conserve the battery.

It kind of reminds me of our lab days, where we used to study the difference in results by changing one variable of the experiment while keeping all the others as constant.

In this case, it's the same family who keeps the light of the storeroom and exhaust fan in the bathroom on, just like that. Same house same, appliances, nothing else changed, but they are now sitting in one room under a single light and fan.

So what causes this sudden change in behavior?

Yes it’s a no brainer, when we know the resources are limited we use them wisely.

It's not that we don't know that we should save electricity, but we don’t care until we are in the situation when the supply is actually limited.

The same goes for web designs.

We all know that we need to give the best experience to the user, but while designing for desktops we don't face too many constraints hence most of the time we are not challenged enough to make the best use of it of the ones that are available.

It's only when you start designing for mobile, you get switched to the inverter mode. It gives you a chance to take a fresh look at the hundred of features that you've added to your website while chasing your pipeline fanatically over the time. And then you ponder that is that light in the storeroom actually required being switched-on all the time?

And trust me, then you'll have soooo many #ThatEnlighteningMoment, when you'll say WTF, why the hell didn't I think of it before.

Designing for mobile teaches you so many things that desktop could never do. Because only then you realise the importance for every pixel and actually think out-of-the-box for solving user problems.

A simple thing like having no space to waste for long help texts makes you rethink the obvious to make that idiot proof designs. It takes intuitive designs to the next level where you spend hours and days to just find that perfect picture that is literally worth a thousand words.

So even if you are still not convinced that mobile web is the next big thing in the Internet, designing for mobile will definitely make desktop site users a lot happier than ever before

What say, are you ready to try the inverter mode?