What Is a .Mobi Web Site?

A .mobi Web site is just a regular Web site accessible from Internet browsers on any device, including desktop computers. But, in order to register a .mobi domain name, a site must meet specific requirements that make it easy to view and use from mobile devices such as smart phones and personal digital assistants.

mTLD, the domain registrar for .mobi, issues and enforces the .mobi rules. The two lists below contain some of the rules that govern these mobile Web sites.

A .Mobi Web Site:

- Automatically senses device type and responds with an appropriate page
- Allows the viewer to reach the site without typing “www” in the URL
- Allows the user to choose how to interact by linking to the full site
- Keeps navigation consistent
- Includes access keys for frequently used functionality
- Clearly identifies the target and file format of each link
- Minimizes external links
- Displays the most relevant information at the top of the page
- Organizes documents so they may be read without style sheets
- Keeps the number of keystrokes to a minimum
- Provides preselected default values where possible
- Specifies a default text entry mode, language and/or input format

A .Mobi Web Site Does Not:

- Use frames
- Rely on cookies
- Rely on support for font-related styling
- Use nested tables
- Rely on embedded objects for script
- Use markup to redirect pages automatically
- Use pop-ups or change the current window without informing the user

Automatically refresh pages without offering a way to stop it

Where Do Web Pages Go When They Die?

Sometimes websites change. Sometimes they straight up die. There’s nothing we, the collective internet, can do about that. But if you’re looking to recover a lost website, the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine is your tool.

A fantastic database for both research and nostalgic purposes, the Wayback has taken on the overwhelming task of archiving the entire web since 1996. Thus far, it’s crawled and copied over 240 billion web pages. Though that doesn’t amount to the entirety of the internet since 1996, it’s still enough to be a helpful window into the past—whether you’re looking up a webpage that no longer exists, or want to remind yourself of what, say, Yahoo’s very first homepage looked like.* The Wayback’s timeline display is especially helpful for tracking the lifespan of a website, marking the frequency in which it was updated, along with screenshots of the web’s homepage from specific calendar dates.

If this is the first time you’re hearing about the Wayback machine, you now have approximately 240 billion more things to look at on the internet. You’re welcome

Planning a Design Project

Before you start designing, there are several things you should look at first. I always find these extra initial steps help when you eventually do start diving into designing for your next project – and even though these tasks add a little time to the beginning of a project, it will be more than made up later on down the line.

The first thing you should start to do when you’re working on a new project is plan. I can’t stress how important the planning stage is – when you have a project that is well planned, it’s much more likely that the project will run smoothly and without as many problems or challenges.

The main things you need to think about when planning are related mostly to content – the content that you have to work with (hopefully the full, real content that will be in use on the site), how the content hierarchy works and fits together, a website site map and more. However, as well as all the work to do with content you may want to start looking at the structure of the project, workable deadlines and the scope of the project.

Working With Content

It’s super important when designing sites to abandon the Lorem Ipsum (or alternative filler text) and work with real content. This sometimes isn’t always possible, but as a freelancer I always push for the client to provide me with the content they’re wanting on the site.

If you don’t work with real content then you run the risk of designing without proper context, and without that you can’t make design decisions that will benefit the users and their experiences when interacting with your website.

When working on a design, working with real content means that you can see how this content interacts with the other design elements on a page. This is even more important with the introduction of responsive design – as we can see how the real content interacts and responds at particular viewports and sizes.

Sorting Content

Once you have the content in front of you, the first thing you want to do is analyse it and see if you can spot anything that needs changing or removing. You’ll likely have been supplied the content in what the client deems to be separate pages – so homepage content, about page content, etc. – but if not, then you’ll want to aim to start doing that yourselves.

Whenever our team receive content for a project, we go through and assign three colours to the content: for content they want to keep they mark it as green and for content that they know is unnecessary or is unneeded they mark it as red – and that content is removed. Those bits of content that end up in between the two extremes are marked as orange or yellow (or amber, if you’re into traffic light specifics!), to be looked at again in discussions with the client.

I think this is a really good technique to quite easily sort through content that you receive – it’s quick and very easy to visually look through and spot which bits of content you need to pay attention to.

When you’re sorting content, you also want to try and think about the relationships between all of the content. Like you would when developing a site, look to see if you can spot any modular or common patterns to the content and keep these in mind.

Content Hierarchy

Hierarchy is described as “a system or organisation in which people or groups are ranked one above the other” – and this relates exactly to how we can work with content hierarchy. In ideal terms, what we are trying to do is create a system that works to display our content in a meaningful and useful way.

When you are sorting through your content, ensure that you are always thinking about how the content relates and will be laid out – here you really want to think about making the content as easy to digest as possible. Think about using headings, lists, quotes, imagery and more to break up the content and make it easier to communicate more focused messages to the users.

Sitemaps

Having sorted through the content and making any relevant changes as you go along you should hopefully end up with a finished heap of content to work with. Once you’re happy with the state of the content, you need to start looking at how this content will work on the website itself.

You can choose to create a site map once you’re happy with your final content but feel free to use them at the very beginning, as soon as you have the original, supplied content.

I find site maps great – they’re a brilliant visual aid to see the state of the website, how many pages there might be and the relationship between all of the pages. This can often be more easy to see through a site map, as you get to remove all of the clutter that pages of content can bring.

Creating a sitemap is a great example of where good planning will help you throughout the lifetime of a project. The great thing about sitemaps – whether you use a bunch of post-its on a whiteboard or create one digitally – is that it makes it really easy to spot where potential problems could be and have the power to fix them before getting stuck into the design.