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Communications, Design

Writing for the web, writing for the mobile web

Those of us who write for the web already know how important the inverse triangle / pyramid is, but if your target readers are mobile surfers then your style of writing becomes critical.

This article is written in a suitable style for mobile browsing. Get the most important information into your opening paragraphs – don’t set the scene, just deliver the goods.

Write concisely. Reduce the length of your paragraphs (break up your text into more paragraphs) and reduce the length of your sentences, brutally.

Magazine articles might be 1500 words, web articles might be half that, and mobile articles should be half that again.

The W3C suggests the XHTML file size should not exceed 10KB, and the total page weight should not exceed 20KB (including images etc.). This page fails those standards, but I’m being concise to reduce the page size over-all, and to reduce your need to scroll and squint.

I mean to give you only the information you need when writing for the mobile web.

Considerations

Screen sizes are small; sometimes as small as 120px wide. That’s only a few words to the line. Without a full overview of your page, people have to read it top to bottom, so get the order of your content right (important stuff at the top).

No mouse; while the iPhone has a wondrous touch interface, and Opera Mini has a fake mouse thing, default mobile browsers rely on the reader clicking buttons and scrolling up and down the page, jumping through your hyperlinks one by one.

Thank you and good bye

Some of you will be reading this on your mobile devices; kilobox communiqué is specially configured to work exceptionally well on mobile phones, and beautifully well on iPhones.

Word count: 401

[Wedge]

About Wedge

I’m Wedge, and this is my website! I’ve worked within internal communications since 2004, managing intranets and digital comms. Now I’m a freelance comms and intranet specialist - I help organisations plan and improve their intranets. I work with other agencies, and write a lot of blog and magazine articles. I founded the Intranet Now conference. You can catch up with me on Twitter - I’m @Wedge.

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