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Designing for Mobile: Dos & Don’ts

There’s nothing more important, when designing a digital advert, than understanding the context of the medium you’re designing for.

The average size of a mobile phone screen massively differs to that of a laptop or PC. So, factors like that should impact how you go about designing your digital ads.

Here’s our handy list of dos and don’ts to follow when you next start designing digital ads that are going to render on smartphone screens...


✅ Do...get to the point of your ad ASAP

Mobile web pages are designed to enable viewers to read through an entire screen’s worth of copy as fast as possible, so people flick through mobile web pages very fast. You’ve maybe got 1-2 seconds for your ad to load and make it’s point before the viewer is gone. If your advert says nothing interesting in those first few seconds, people will just skip past it.

❌ Don’t...forget how small the user’s screen is going to be

With the reduced size of mobile device screens, your ad is (at times) going to be pretty small. Visualising how your ad will actually appear on a screen that's small in size is a great way to check the clarity of your messaging whilst ensuring the legibility of your copy and visibility of your imagery.

✅ Do…loop your advert

Looping your advert is important, though the potential for viewers actually seeing a secondary play on a mobile device is unlikely (because of all that scrolling). Setting your ad to loop, however, does give mobile site visitors a second or third chance to see your ad rotate so you should always do it.

❌ Don’ a heavy ad

If your advert struggles to load, it’s going to present as a plain grey square and viewers are simply going to scroll past it. There are lots of ways that you can optimise the size and weight of your ad files - avoid using too many images, try not to employ too much heavy (processor-intensive) code, and consult our creative and technical blogs on the subject.

✅ Do... be respectful of people’s devices

You don’t know how much charge the viewer has on their mobile device - they could be on a train down to the last 20% of their battery power. If you’ve built a bad ad (that’s chock full of processor-heavy code) it could wipe out their remaining battery life and leave that viewer with a negative association with the product you’re advertising to them.

❌ Don’t...forget the cost of viewing your ads

You don’t know what kind of data connection your viewer going to be on - a mobile device user could be using wifi to browse the internet or they could be out and about using 4G or 5G (or even 3G still). Data costs money (not everyone has mobile phone plans with unlimited data allowances) so be mindful of how much demand your advert has on both the user's device and the data that that device uses. Be considerate, build light ads.


If you’d like us to design and build your digital ads for you - let us know!

Working with specialists like Deviceful means that you get faster, smarter, and more scalable ads that bridge the gap brilliantly between creative and media.

So, don’t let your creative let you down - speak to our specialists to stay ahead!


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