Designing for small screens

Thirdly I needed to consider that consumers are no longer limited to the desktop screen, thanks to the abundance of technology available today. Therefore I had to contemplate the potential difficulties of designing for smaller screens. The greatest difficulty I came across involved styling content whilst maintaining a consistent look and feel across all screen sizes. This proved particularly difficult on the mobile screen. Icons appeared to work better, this was particularly evident on the movie page and was extremely useful when designing for the mobile as textual links were too small and difficult to click. When all content was presented textually, this overloaded the screen and defied Gestalts law of proximity, with different content overlapping and appearing confusing to the eye. Zwick et al (2005, p.124) highlight the importance of using icons for small screens stating that they, “allow fast non-verbal communication between the system and user.” To maintain a consistent design across all devices I incorporated the same icon and textual links across all screen resolutions, creating familiarity no matter what device user’s were on.

Furthermore I applied Gestalt Law of figure (Zwick at al, 2005) to distinguish between elements that were more and less prevalent to the user’s needs. This was achieved by changing contrast and brightness levels. For example I made the title of the films, the sharing and trailer icons a bold black to catch the user’s eye immediately. Additionally it was important to ensure the mobile navigation was in the foreground to avoid merging with the rest of the design, this was achieved by styling it, in such a way that all content below was pushed down.

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