Category Archives: Mobile

Screen Sizes and Image Sizes

With the domination of the phablet, smartphone screen sizes continue to get bigger and bigger. The 16:9 aspect ratio remains king and is here to stay, but the pixel count grows and grows:

  • 1136px by 640px (iPhone 5S)
  • 1280px by 720px (Samsung S3)
  • 1920px by 1080px (Samsung S5)
  • 2560px by 1440px (Samsung Note 4 – rumoured)

Image sizes

This blog displays images up to 600 pixels in width. That is only half the width of the newest phones in portrait mode; less than a quarter of the width in landscape mode. The only way to avoid ugly pixellation is to use larger imagery that can scale down for the desktop and be used in its original form for mobile.

That leaves you in what would once seemed to be a bizarre position of increasing your image sizes so that they look good on the smallest screens.

On cycleireland.ie, I use 1200px wide images, which are reasonably future-proofed (at least for the next couple of years).

You should look at that as a minimum size for your images, depending on where they are most likely to be used and how central they are to your content.

Mobile website content problems

Mobile ownership and usage is going through the roof. Mobile website content is a different beast to regular website content. It is less forgiving of bluster and long-windedness. Mobile is becoming more and more convenient for users and is getting cheaper all the time, as network capacity is expanded and all-you-can-eat data packages become the norm.

So you have a website and you need to address your mobile users – how do you go about it? Well, get ready for the hurt. Mobile website content is, for many, a disaster zone. Accepted thinking suggests that you strip out part of your site and offer only the core elements, as you have a lot less screen real estate to play with. Always be wary of accepted thinking.

Users are demanding. They are not going to put up with second-rate products. It’s all well and good to decide to leave things out, but if one of those things is something the user wants, they are going to hate your mobile site for it.

Probably the most frustrating element of the mobile web is reaching a mobile site for the first time and wasting time trying to work out what is missing or what is implemented badly. Too often it becomes a bad user experience, to the extent that you are better off skipping the site until you have access to a larger screen and the full version.

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