WV13: Mobile Web Design Anti-Patterns

Friday, May 24th, 2013

shea_dave_lg Dave Shea

Mobile design is necessarily about embracing constraints, but sometimes we go too far. We strip down our content to a bare minimum in pursuit of misguided ideals about mobile context. We provide ‘useful’ mobile UI components that immediately proceed to get in a user’s way. We make improper assumptions about a user’s environment.


Mobile web design is still a challenge.

Do the problems we solve the goals of the users?

Anti Patterns:

No mobile site

  • Non- responsive
  • The existing technology stack
  • Device testing cost
  • Apple doesn’t have a mobile site!
  • Remember engagement = money (mobile sales can double, or more)



  • WAP was never a good idea
  • Bad: SEO, Redirect delays, Sharing
  • If it’s the same content, use a single URL

Not testing on the device

  • Use the real device whenever possible.


  • Photoshop can’t replicate interaction.


  • Pixels come in all different sizes
  • 5mm needs to be the very minimum. 9mm is a better min.
  • Always about 2mm spacing between targets.

High-density as a default

  • Big bandwidth hit

Ignoring the fold

  • Core business tools need to be available on load (add to cart, get quote)

Mystery meat nav

  • Icons without text
  • Gestures

Choosing the wrong component

  • How to scale big tables? Scale to linear list for each row.
  • Don’t use input select for navigation

24 bit PNG

  • Still need to worry about page size
  • Always optimize

Not combining assets

  • Http requests can hurt
  • Use sprites
  • Bit JS, CSS libs


Take away: IcoMoon http://icomoon.io/





Leave a Reply

You know you want to...