May 14, 2010

Designing for the Touch Screen


Hostway Team

By Jen Brister

It seems as if everyone these days has a smart phone. Now, not only do the vast majority of cell phone users have a smart phone, they have a smart phone which has a touch screen. With the inventions of the iPhone and the iPad, touch screens have gone from "technology of the future" to the technology of today. Touch screens give people the freedom to use their cell phones and other devices in more of a physical manner.

If your company has its own Web site (and it should), then you need to consider what your Web site may look like on a touch screen device. With the growing numbers of touch screen devices on the market, it is important that your Web site can be easily viewed and manipulated on a touch screen. If you already own a touch screen phone, point your web browser to your company Web site and check it out. Can you easily see the entire home page? Can you easily move around the Web site? Can you click on all the areas that you would be able to click on when you view it on a regular computer screen?

Answering these questions is an integral part of making sure that your Web site is user friendly for touch screen devices. If it seems that your Web site is not working properly on the touch screen, there are a few things you can do to ensure that it is functional and able to be viewed by all.

  1. Make sure that your Web site loads quickly. The slower your Web site loads on a regular computer, the slower it will load on a smart phone or other device. When Web sites are slow to load, many users quickly click away from the site and move on to something else.
  2. Make your menu intuitive. When you look at your Web site on a touch screen device, you should automatically be able to tell where you can click for more information. If your Web site is truly intuitive, a small child should be able to maneuver his way around with no trouble.
  3. Keep it simple. When you limit the choices a user has on your Web site, not only will the site load faster, but the site will look nice and streamlined on small screen. If your Web site looks too crowded on the small screen, users will likely be unable to use it properly.
  4. Test and test again. Once you think you have your Web site tweaked for use on a touch screen, have many different clients look at the site and make sure that they are all able to use it intuitively and easily. Make changes when necessary and test again. Repeat this process until you are completely satisfied with the way your company Web site runs on smaller screens.

Keep these tips in mind, and you should be able to create a company Web site that works well on touch screen devices such as iPads and iPhones. Keeping up with the latest technology will certainly give your business an edge.

About the Author

Jen Brister has been a writer, researcher, and Internet marketer for three years. She makes her living writing full time, publishing videos, and creating Web sites.

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