Shortly after the first post, I learned there’s more to blogging than words on a page. From a laptop, the post looked great: graphics, captions, and wrapped text created a flow that made the content look interesting.
From a smartphone – literally in the other hand – the experience wasn’t so smooth: the formatting didn’t translate, making the text a pain to read. In other words, the page wasn’t optimized for mobile.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot of patience for poorly designed pages. The volume of information online makes straining to read any one page a waste of time.
Design figures HUGELY in online communication. I learned that the hard way, and Richard Banfield confirmed it two weeks ago in a lecture on Sex, Drugs, and the Infinite Scroll: The Biology behind Engaging Design. A design specialist and business strategist, Banfield geared the talk to tech developers and entrepreneurs, but there was a pertinent piece for online communicators:
“Context is everything in a world of content.” (28:30)
Depending on the time and place, the devices we use to consume content vary. And as new tech hits the market (did you know there are Snapchat Spectacles?) people are consuming more information across a wider range of devices.
“We should be designing for that full spectrum of devices,” Banfield said. “But what we also need to remember is that because it’s consumed differently on each device, it must be designed separately for each of those devices.”
Mobile users, for example, favour short form writing. Few people have the time and patience to read 1000-word think piece on small screen, especially when they’re on the move.
Writing for night owls? Consider a dark backdrop for easier reading. A bright screen in the dark tends to strain the eyes.
Designing an optimal experience for an audience means considering who they are, how they’re consuming your product, and when.
[Tip: see how your posts look across devices with the “Preview” button next to “Publish”.]