monitor and full-sized keyboard. In large part this is due to the inherent limitations of the mobile devices themselves, but a contributing factor is the design of websites, many of which are not optimized for handheld devices. DESIGNING FOR MOBILE DEVICES
Recognizing that smart-phone use is expanding exponentially (more than 1 billion people use mobile devices as their primary internet access point), gallery owners want a website that can deliver a satisfying experience to art world insiders and the gallery-going public. That starts with understanding why people are using their smart phones to browse the Web. They are on the go, away from their laptop or desktop computer, and looking for specific information—an address or phone number or the name of the artist currently showing at the gallery. These users don’t just happen to stumble on your website; they’re familiar with you, value your gallery, and talk about you. What they want most is quick access to essential information. A mobilefriendly website needs to be clean, simple, and intuitive. The design should suggest that of the full-fledged website, but feature content front and center. Because of the smaller screen display, care should be taken to minimize page styling and file sizes. It is generally best to hide graphics, as these will invariably be resized when displayed on the smart phone’s screen, reducing their usefulness. By carefully paring down the content and simplifying the interface, galleries can create a better mobile experience for users. So while the website won’t look the same on a mobile device as it does on a desktop or laptop, it will be responsive and easy to navigate, and have the familiar look and feel of the gallery’s main website interface. For a gallery whose 68
The Art World and the World Wide Web. Essays, Interviews and Case Studies.