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10 tips to remember while creating content for mobile phones

Ever since the Android and iPhone explosion, the market has witnessed a flurry of developers who have jumped in to the race to create apps for such phones. But mobile devices vary as much as snowflakes, with no two devices ever being the same. Different sizes and resolutions can play havoc on your app. In this post we bring you the top ten tips to remember while designing content for a mobile device.

Tip #1: Two minutes of content
Research says that after about 90 seconds of absorbing content, the user begins to lose concentration. Segmenting animation into 2-minute frames is a great way to cheaply and efficiently send content across mobile networks today.

Tip #2: Animation works best
As opposed to the presentational mode often seen in traditional video, animation brings a more exciting and relaxed style. Animation tends to keep the viewer engaged in the content. For example, in-flight safety videos on aircrafts are offered in animation.

Tip #3: Conversational style
Be clear about what is and what isn’t acceptable. Mobile phones are increasingly treated as personal space by their users. While you may try to engage the user in a personal conversation, a good strategy is to find the right balance between generic and customised content.

Tip #4: Deliver smart content
The promise of a mobile phone is that one can do things differently with the device. People want to know how to be better, smarter and faster in the way they do things. Deliver content that is less like an infomercial but more like an exciting DIY.

Tip #5: Pay attention to your flash files
Creating mobile content is really a trade-off. While one technique offers better performance, another one might make the content look better. You may need to run back and forth between the emulator and testing the app on various devices.

Tip #6: Shapes & sizes
Try not to use lines on vector shapes. Corners are easier to render than curves. Minimise the transparency in PNG images. Keeping such small things in mind results in a more robust and stable app.

Tip #7: Bitmap images
Always only import bitmap images at the correct size. Importing large files and scaling them results in large file sizes and a load on run time memory.

Tip #8: Use a flowmap
Never begin wireframes or designs without first having a well-thought flowmap. Creating a flowmap at the beginning of the project helps in avoiding a convoluted flow that leaves users confused and disinterested.

Tip #9: Don’t overuse pixel-dense screens
A lot of animators fall into the trap of trying to fit more into an interface just because they have additional pixels to play with. Over stuffing a design can result in an app that becomes not only difficult to view but also downright impossible to navigate.

Tip #10: Involve users to design content
Once you have launched your app, get the users involved in the creative aspects of refining your app. Sometimes the best suggestions come not from your team, but from your customers.

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