Balancing Images and Text in a Mobile Playing Field

Online marketing is shifting to visual imagery very quickly. An example of the growing trend is seen in the fact that Facebook is losing teen audiences to image-based social media. However, when it comes to reading marketing or business information on mobile platforms, people want business marketing to load fast when accessed by mobile devices. Image use and fast mobile don't automatically mix. As a result, businesses looking to get on the visual bandwagon need to make sure the marketing still meets technical criteria for fast downloads onto smartphones and tablets.

Pick a Screen Size and Stick With It

There are three major screen sizes used now: desktop, smartphone and tablet. A desktop view forces phone users to zoom in and out when reviewing a page, but it looks fine on a regular computer. A mobile platform works faster for smartphones and tablets but seems minimal in content for a desktop user. Fortunately, with dynamic website design, a company can have both worlds, but if the focus is on mobile users, then the screen better be designed for mobile consumption.

Within the screen size, some space needs to be allocated at least for minimal content scripts and links for further information. The rest can be used for imagery, but a good balance between the two makes for a better presentation. Designers often use a one-inch by one-inch square for an image, and then place content next to it for quick scanning and reference plus a link if more detail is desired.

Avoid Continuous Scrolling

Mobile users don’t have time to scroll page after page of information. Instead, break up the visual with multiple pages that can be flipped to or linked. This makes for smaller downloads that transmit faster to mobile devices. Further, keep the content high level. This maximizes the use of each primary page. If more detail is desired, it can be provided by a link to a separate page, much the same way newspapers design their online reading for mobile devices.

Always Include Links

Did we mention it before? Yes, so here it is again: include links via images or text to open up the viewer to more detail or a regular website screen. Some users simply want more information and will suffer through zooming to get detailed content. Don’t block them from it. Keep the initial mobile platform streamlined but always incorporate links to bigger images or the regular website. This gives people a choice to suffer through download waits or get stuff quick, depending on their personal want.

Study Navigation

There are tools that allow a business to see which areas on a site are clicked or viewed more than others. Use them. This gives a business the ability to retailor a website for mobile users more to their liking. If folks are clicking images far more than text, redesign accordingly by showing more images. If text is the main click point, then images should be made smaller and links more pronounced. There is no set standard; the consumer pattern will be different from company to company, but the statistics of real use can be enlightening about how consumers view a mobile website.