There are some very specific challenges when designing for mobile web. Some important considerations include bandwidth limitations on mobile devices and UIs that need to be optimized for fingers instead of the usual mouse cursors. Designers that have grown accustomed to designing for desktop need to develop a whole new outlook in their approach to mobile web design.
Today there are many frameworks available that will help you to quickly set up cross-platform mobile websites. These platforms are optimized for touchscreen devices, are cross-platform, lightweight and use HTML5 and CSS3 standards. The ten best frameworks are listed below.
jQuery Mobile is possibly one of the most popular mobile frameworks. Its lightweight code base and multiple user interface elements are just some of the benefits of using this framework. An alternative to using jQuery Mobile is Dojo Mobile which leverages the Dojo API for quick mobile web development.
Jo is a framework for developers who work with HTML5 capable devices like those running iOS, Android, webOS and Chrome. Standard UI elements included are web forms for login screen and pop up widgets for providing more details to users.
For something that is super lightweight for strictly client side development xui.js is an excellent choice. It works with specific mobile browsers like WebKit and IE mobile when using it to develop apps for certain operating systems on mobile devices.
EmbedJS is a framework for embedded devices like mobile phones, tablets, televisions and such. It comes with multiple build for platforms and browsers including iOS, Firefox, Android and others. This means that users will get the optimum experience with a minimal amount of code.
This framework is built on Dojo so will be very easy to use if you’re already familiar with Dojo API.
Use Mobilize.js if you want to port an existing desktop site into a mobile friendly version. Everything is done on the client-side and the framework will automatically detect mobile users and redirect them to the mobile version of the site. There is a WordPress plugin available for WordPress site owners.
Built with HTML5 markup, 52 Framework also includes CSS3 styles which make drop shadows, rounded corners and text customization possible. Form elements, multi-media and a host of other HTML5 elements are available with this framework. An included 16 column grid template helps with layout development.
For fast web development by re-using an existing site look no further than the G5 framework. With clean HTML5 and CSS3, SEO optimization and compatibility with older browsers there is very little that is left out. Some wonderfully useful elements that you’ll be sure to use are CSS3 buttons, tooltips, Reveal modals and an Orbit slider.
Lungo has a very simple API and is one among the very few mobile frameworks that is built solely on HTML5 and CSS3. Use it to design apps for multiple operating systems like Android, WebOs, Blackberry and iOS with great features like history, swipe, tap and other JQuery features. Use the library of vectors for fast interface customization.
Kole McRae for 9th Sphere Web Design Toronto.
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