Best Practices for E-Commerce

Windows Mobile 6.5

When you implement online content for users of mobile devices, do not seek to replicate the experience of a browser on a desktop computer. Instead, concentrate on the content and the features that users of mobile devices are likely to use the most, being aware that these mobile devices frequently have low-bandwidth connectionsThe following recommendations can help you in your building of an effective e-commerce Web site:

  • Personalization pages. The personalization of content has had a significant affect the way people use the Web. Letting the user select the content that he or she wants to include on his or her Web page that is located on your Web site greatly improves the user's experience. Common uses include a portfolio of stocks or a table of cities for basic weather information.
  • Advertisements. Although advertisements have become an expected presence on the Web, not all advertising translates well to Internet Explorer Mobile . Many advertisements are large and require a long time to download. Moreover, pop-up advertisements do not work in Internet Explorer Mobile . Use advertisements sparingly, and make sure that any nuisance or frustration for the user does not outweigh the value of your Web site.
  • Page headers. A Western reader's eye tends to move from the upper-left corner of a screen to the lower-right corner. Therefore, when targeting a Western audience, you should put the most important information, such as a heading or a company icon, in or near the upper-left corner. Put all the relevant information and links toward the bottom of the Web page.
  • Design forms with a 229-pixel width in mind. The maximum width of an Internet Explorer Mobile page should be 229 pixels. Form elements such as <INPUT TYPE="TEXT"> or <INPUT TYPE="BUTTON"> are not shrunk by the Default menu option of Internet Explorer Mobile , and are never rendered wider than the width of the screen of the mobile device. When you design forms, put the input controls in separate lines instead of horizontally. For your e-commerce customers, it is especially annoying to have to scroll horizontally in order to enter credit card information or to use your Web site's shopping cart. Also, limit the dialog boxes that you use to the small screen area of the mobile device. If you want to show a picture of the product that is selected by the customer, put the description below the picture, not next to it.

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