How to create content for mobile devices?
Users use their mobile devices differently than desktop users. The screen is smaller and often there is less time. As a result, content has to be written differently. Please find some general advice below.
Adapt the content offered
Users may be looking for different content on your mobile site. Do they prefer fast shopping or are they looking for how-to manuals? Maybe they just like to relax while reading your entertaining blogposts?
Analyzing the visitors’ needs is essential. Existing analytics data can help determine what content categories mobile users prefer opposed to large screen uses.
In addition, mobile sites allow you to offer other features. You can interface with other mobile apps commonly used, like the camera feature to invite users to share experiences on your site, Facebook Messenger to offer on-the-road customer service and Google Maps to help locate your stores.
Change your writing style
The actual content should also be adopted to the smaller screen:
- Start with the key message: You often only have a few seconds, so start with the message you want to communicate.
- Keep it short & concrete: People do not have the patience to read several pages of a plea. Keep the text short and use bullets and headers to make scanning the content easy.
- Keep bandwidth in mind: Visuals and even video are fine but do keep bandwidth limitations (and costs) in mind. Make sure the content is also available in other ways than video.
The importance of Content Management
Editors do not like to write the same article twice (mobile, web) or even three times (tablet). A clear content structure and a good content management system can help:
- Articles are broken down to elements (header, sub-title, images, captions, etc).
- For each screen size the template is determined (which elements to show, hide or not offer at all).
Editors still have to keep text short and concrete but the other writing style elements (starting with the key message, keeping bandwidth in mind) can be managed by the CMS.
An example of a responsive website showing content based on the screen size is shown below (tip: use Mobile.me to test websites accross multiple devices).