By Chemory Gunko
MD & Creative Director
Dsignhaus (Pty) Ltd
Chemory Gunko is the managing director and creative director of Dsignhaus, a B2B marketing services agency with in-depth and specialist knowledge in the field of digital marketing. Contact Chemory on firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.dsignhaus.co.za, follow @dsignhaus on Twitter or join the Facebook page on www.facebook.com/Dsignhaus.
If you have anything to do with digital marketing, you’ll know the powerful impact mobile devices have had on the media.
So how much would it change your views if I told you that a few recent campaigns we’ve rolled out showed that 70% or more of all engagement was through mobile devices? Is your digital collateral geared for that level of mobile engagement?
Resolution, resolution, resolution
Probably one of the most important elements of any digital collateral, and for web designers, probably the most difficult to explain, resolution is all about how the document you’ve created adjusts itself to display on the screen the recipient is using.
The range of screen resolutions is enormous; in fact once you add mobile into the mix, you’re dealing with screens ranging from a tiny 240-pixel width to those in excess of 2500 pixels.
Effectively, this means that everything on the page – from the layout of text, to the visible size of the text, is going to change according to the device you’re viewing it on.
So, for example, your perfectly calculated text, that ends exactly in line with the image aligned in the right-hand column of the piece, is no longer going to be perfectly aligned – on a much smaller screen, it could read for effectively 2 pages longer than the bottom of the image you’ve so carefully aligned.
In a lot of cases, this doesn’t matter at all, but if the image is integral to explaining the text, and viewers don’t see it in the right place, then your mailer lands up making no sense at all, and gets junked as trash.
Hand-in-hand with resolution goes text size. Simply put, if it’s a mission to read your mailer or website, because the text size is too small, people will navigate away.
A lot of mobile devices do circumvent this by allowing users to set their own typeface and text size, but then we’re firmly in the realm of resolution again –how your document will change according to the amount of space used by the text in it.
Have you opened and looked at your digital collateral on a range of different mobile devices? Do you know what they look like and how they behave? Most importantly – are you happy with the results?
Electronic mailers can and should scale
Email design is a totally different monster to web design, and accordingly is subject to different rules and coding protocols.
In fact, the sad truth is that emailer coding is stuck somewhere firmly around the turn of the previous century, and doesn’t look likely to move anytime soon.
This, however, does not mean that your emailer cannot scale and adjust itself to the resolution of the device it’s being viewed on. A well-coded emailer can – and should – scale to fit the width of your mobile device – and this means images too.
The rules governing this kind of scaling and adjustment aren’t complicated, and a well-designed emailer will not need a separate mobile or text-only version. In fact, your text-only version should really be your mailer without any of its images.
Speaking of mobile versions… do you know what is showing on your mobile site?
When you build a mobi-template into a website, only certain elements of the site will appear in the mobile version.
Newer, more responsive designs are likely to show everything that appears on your website, but this will apply only to sites that have been built recently.
Have you opened and checked your mobi-site? Do you know which elements of your site are displaying on the mobi-version? Do these elements together tell a complete story and represent you in a way that you feel proud of?
The days of separate mobile sites, with duplication of creation and changes, are well over.
Your site should comfortably be able to be viewed on mobile or desktop devices without an issue, and without the need to develop an entire extra site.