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Simplify your Blog Design for Mobile Viewing

Posted By Darren Rowse 30th of March 2006 Blog Design 7

Regular ProBlogger reader – IO ERROR – has written a post titled Give your blog design a spring cleaning which might trigger some interesting discussion. He does so after designing a theme for his blog that can be read on a smart phone or other mobile device and realizing just how poorly designed many blogs are when viewed in this way.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. “how poorly designed many blogs are when viewed in this way”

    True. But it’s just a matter of what your purpose is. Then you can evaluate what you can give up in order to increase readability and what, instead, is essential.

    I am, however, one of those designers who start off with very graphically-intensive layouts and then subtract from them more and more over time.
    Content is king, even when just outfitting your blog, I guess!

  2. I agree that, from time to time, a site should be “refreshed”, we should make same color chages, theme changes, etc. This will give visitors an idea of some interest in renovating the site.

  3. Well, when you pay by the kilobyte for mobile web browsing, it adds up very quickly. It could cost almost €1 just to load up one graphics-filled web page!

    Ultimately out of this I’ll be releasing a mobile theme for WordPress which is very stripped down and suitable for mobile viewing, and even has a few nice features.

  4. I just had a chance to take a look at my site on a smartphone.

    The tagline looked bad, but other than that everything served up fine.

    I’m going to have to put that into the main banner, and I should be all set.

  5. Great advice. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, particularly as mobile devices become the viewer of choice more and more… can’t underestimate the importance of catering to those ubiquitous little machines.

    And of course, it helps that I’m a minimalist at heart.

    Forgive the asking Darren, but does anyone care to tell me what my site looks like on a phone/PDA? Critique is welcome… thanks.

  6. The subject of mobile access to weblogs (or similar) is one I’ve been thinking about and dealing with for the past few years, ever since I launched my first ever mobile site in 2002.

    Nowadays I don’t bother with redesigning my site for mobile, instead I design a new site specifically for mobile, and re-use my existing content.

    For example (and forgive the plug), my primary game news website is at http://www.news0r.com.

    You can also access specially designed sites for the following formats:
    Sony PSP – http://www.news0r.com/psp/
    WAP – http://www.news0r.com/wap/
    PDA (iPaq, palm etc) – http://www.news0r.com/pda/
    i-mode – http://www.news0r.com/imode/
    T-Mobile Web’n’Walk – http://www.news0r.com/tmobile/

    For each of these sites (a couple are still in beta testing btw), I modify the content that’s presented on the main site (reading directly out of the core database and modifying the output using filters) and then deliver it using a device-designed site. On some sites I do do some checking of device though – for example, the imode site will read the handset headers and dynamically adjust the amount of content delivered based on how much memory the handset has, the PSP site will detect if you are actually using a PSP (you can read the site fine in a web browser), and the t-mobile site will detect if you’re using any of the recognised T-Mobile UK Web’n’Walk handsets and modify output accordingly.

  7. It’s a good point, but most personal blogs will probably never target mobile users anyway.

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