How To: Graphic Design for Mobile Devices

We all know mobile usage is on the rise. Nearly everyone has a smartphone or tablet, and they inevitably use it to get online. As a web graphic designer, mobile designs may be a difficult adjustment. Your goal for any web design is to make it user friendly while still looking great, and the same goes for mobile design. But that may require you to think through things a little differently, considering to what end mobile users would need your site, in order to create a seamless experience for them. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while working on graphic design for mobile devices.

  • Think mobile first
    It may be easier to design the mobile site before the desktop. Users typically don’t complain about lack of features, but they definitely notice if features aren’t working.
  • Keep it simple and sweet
    Simplicity is vital in graphic design for mobile devices. A simple, straightforward design won’t distract from the content or make it difficult to navigate on a smaller screen.
  • Consider responsive design
    Responsive design allows your current design to easily conform to both full-size screens and mobile devices. This design may be the best option for you, needing only one design.
  • Incorporate fluid graphics
    Most mobile devices have a G-sensor to tell at what orientation the screen is being held, so your design has to work well in landscape or portrait.
  • Watch your colors and animations
    Mobile devices vary in color support, and you should adjust your graphics accordingly. Some brands, like Blackberry and HTC, have a markedly different level of color support than brands like Apple and Samsung. Animations are similar, with different supported video formats.
  • Oversize images and buttons
    Mobile screens are typically smaller, and in order to be user friendly, sometimes graphics like images and buttons should be large and easy to click.
  • Set copy guidelines
    Even adding a character count to the body is useful during designing in order to make sure things aren’t looking too cluttered.
  • Test on an actual mobile device
    Finally, remember your design may look great on the web but not so much on mobile. Check and double check that your designs are transferring well.

Keeping all these factors in mind during mobile design is certainly a challenge—but not impossible. Look at it as a chance to get really creative and make your mobile website into something user friendly and unique!

About the Author


I'm Autumn Nicholson, Director of Internet Marketing. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in English and took the first editing job I could find, at a marketing company in South Carolina. I joined Farmore Marketing in 2014 to put my internet marketing experience to good use—and to spend more time on the beach. I spend much of my time volunteering for nonprofits, reading, and binge-watching TV shows on Netflix. You can connect with me here:


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