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Focusing on the core scenarios

From: Mobile Web Design & Development Fundamentals

Video: Focusing on the core scenarios

One of the hallmarks of a well-built mobile web site is the relentless focus on really nailing the core scenarios that the site addresses. Before you even begin building your mobile site, ask yourself what the top one to three features are that the site provides to your users and then focus on making those experiences as prominent and easy to use as possible. Remember the mobile user's frame of mind. It's very often someone who is on the go and needs quick access to information and probably doesn't have the time to stop and learn about, or remember how your mobile web site works.

Focusing on the core scenarios

One of the hallmarks of a well-built mobile web site is the relentless focus on really nailing the core scenarios that the site addresses. Before you even begin building your mobile site, ask yourself what the top one to three features are that the site provides to your users and then focus on making those experiences as prominent and easy to use as possible. Remember the mobile user's frame of mind. It's very often someone who is on the go and needs quick access to information and probably doesn't have the time to stop and learn about, or remember how your mobile web site works.

So it's important that your mobile site be simple enough that new users can pick it up quickly and returning users can get straight to what they need. I know it's hard, but it's important to resist the temptation to find some way to provide all the same features that your desktop site provides on your mobile site. Remember, being mobile represents a different usage scenario, in that some of your desktop site's features may not translate well to the mobile context, or maybe difficult to use in that context.

This is why it's so important to really understand the scenarios under which your site's features will be used, so if you need to adapt any of your site's existing features, you can do so with a clear understanding of how they're going to work on mobile. In addition to simplifying and focusing your site's mobile experience, going through the exercise of identifying your site's top features has the added benefit of helping you make the best desktop web site too. Once you decided on the main features of your mobile site, ensure that they are prominently accessible to the user and that they are among the first things the user sees when they load your site or one of its pages.

This kind of focus on your site's core functionality helps the user quickly understand your site, often within a matter of seconds, minimizing the time that a user spends learning or relearning the site, and gets them to their destination faster. Let's take a closer look at the United Airlines mobile web site to see how they focus on their core scenarios. The United Airlines mobile site actually does a pretty good job of following many of the principles we've outlined so far, in addition to focus. First, notice that all the information fits on one page and it's optimized for the vertical scrolling experience.

There is no side-to-side panning that goes on here. Notice also there is minimal use of graphics. It's just their logo and some icons that go down the side of the links over there. There is a very simple background color. It's blue. The links are nice and large, and they are spaced out well to minimize the chance that I'll hit the wrong one. Now as far as focusing on the core scenarios, look at the top three features. These are the first things I see when I load the site, and they are Check-in, Flight status, and My reservations, because chances are someone who is accessing the mobile site of an airline is probably in the back of a taxi or otherwise on their way to the airport, and they either want to check in or check their flight status and may check the status of their reservations.

The next three most important features are the Flight availability, Mileage Plus summary, and Flight notifications. Now, not as important as the top three features, but they are available to me. So, for example, if I want to check my Mileage Plus summary on the go, I can find that information really easily. And finally, down here at the bottom of the page there is a full site link, so the user has access to the full web site, which pretty much covers all the rest of the data access scenarios a user might run into. Having a clear focus on your mobile site's goals and features will enable you to build pages that can be clearly understood very quickly, within a matter of seconds, and give your mobile users the quick access they need to get their tasks done and be on their way.

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This video is part of

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Mobile Web Design & Development Fundamentals

46 video lessons · 25484 viewers

Joe Marini
Author

 
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  1. 2m 48s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 46s
  2. 29m 25s
    1. Understanding the mobile context
      8m 5s
    2. A survey of mobile sites
      11m 44s
    3. Targeting mobile browsers
      4m 31s
    4. Previewing a complete mobile site
      5m 5s
  3. 27m 20s
    1. Designing for one web
      3m 43s
    2. Using well-defined web standards
      3m 45s
    3. Designing mobile-friendly pages
      3m 40s
    4. Being crisp, clean, and succinct
      5m 45s
    5. Minimizing input where possible
      6m 47s
    6. Focusing on the core scenarios
      3m 40s
  4. 1h 13m
    1. Installing the tools
      3m 52s
    2. Setting up a local web server
      9m 13s
    3. Installing device emulators
      17m 5s
    4. Using device emulators
      13m 9s
    5. Downloading Modernizr and Mobile Boilerplate
      6m 22s
    6. Building a first mobile web page
      5m 43s
    7. Developing mobile pages with desktop browsers
      8m 6s
    8. Exploring useful mobile web development resources
      10m 23s
  5. 53m 26s
    1. Reviewing mobile markup languages
      5m 10s
    2. Understanding content adaptation approaches
      10m 32s
    3. Controlling the viewport layout
      12m 50s
    4. Designing forms
      13m 30s
    5. Using CSS media queries
      11m 24s
  6. 1h 11m
    1. Detecting client capabilities with script
      10m 8s
    2. Caching information with local storage
      9m 16s
    3. Determining position with geolocation
      12m 52s
    4. Minimizing HTTP requests with data URLs
      7m 39s
    5. Understanding user agent detection
      9m 8s
    6. Using server-side detection with PHP
      6m 52s
    7. Using server-side detection with ASP.NET
      4m 54s
    8. Using HTML5 Boilerplate for mobile
      11m 6s
  7. 39m 22s
    1. Measuring performance
      7m 41s
    2. Creating full-screen web apps
      6m 30s
    3. Customizing the user interface
      5m 14s
    4. Detecting orientation changes
      3m 58s
    5. Detecting device movement
      5m 21s
    6. Using touch events
      10m 38s
  8. 47m 14s
    1. Taking a look at the finished site
      7m 40s
    2. Examining the header and background image style on the Home page
      10m 10s
    3. Examining the hover effect and layout styles on the Tours page
      6m 42s
    4. Examining mobile forms on the Contact page
      9m 45s
    5. Viewing and testing the mobile site on emulators
      8m 11s
    6. Viewing the site on devices
      4m 46s
  9. 2m 34s
    1. Goodbye
      2m 34s

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