When the smartphone first arrived on the scene over the last decade, we thought we had seen everything there was to offer in terms of mobile technology. Since then, the smartphone has changed and adapted significantly, with some offering camera specs that are better than actual cameras. The new phenomenon in the smartphone world, however, is the foldable phone, which an idea which is gaining traction among smartphone manufacturers. 

But, what will this innovation mean for consumers and marketers, specifically for website design and development? If you are working with a website design agency they need to be prepared for these changes. It is certainly exciting technology but it is still in its infancy, however, it is important to be aware of any changes that could affect the function and feel of your website. Below we take a look at what foldable phones could mean for website design. 

 

Hold Up – What Is A Foldable Phone?

 

Now, you might never have thought that a mobile phone would be able to fold, but this is the latest innovation in mobile phone technology. Essentially it is a smartphone with a display that can be folded in half, much like a sheet of paper. 

Technically, it is not a new phenomenon, as we have had flip phones for years (who of us did not covet the Motorola Razr at some point?) but foldable is a new iteration of this. Recently, Microsoft released information about their Surface Duo, an Android device that is shaking up consumers who are interested in foldable phones. It offers users two separate displays that are folded using a hinge, quite different from the other options on the market that are simply, well, mobile phones that fold. 

The Surface Duo has two durable glass screens. The fact that it is made from two separate screens attached to a hinge makes it a game-changer, as this can eliminate any issues that might occur from folding a screen (think cracks, malfunctioning, and even creasing of the screen). However, people are still sceptical about the efficiency and effectiveness of these phones. 

 

What Does This Mean For Website Design?

 

The world is becoming more mobile-focused, especially in terms of consumers browsing for products online. Ensuring that your website’s mobile experience is positive is of the utmost importance to any successful digital marketing strategy. With the introduction of foldable phones, this will mean that consumers have more than one way of viewing your website. 

A foldable phone could have up to four different viewing experiences for users, namely the regular screen in portrait and landscape and the foldable screen in portrait and landscape. Your website design will need to be responsive and viewable in all of these formats, which could mean a complete redesign for a website that is not mobile-friendly. Below are just some of the ways in which a foldable phone can affect a website design and development agency.  

 

One-Handed Versus Two-Handed Design

 

Most people today use only one hand to operate their mobile device, but with the innovation of foldable phones, those who opt for these devices will be using both hands to operate it. This means that the website should comfortably translate to a device that has a two-handed design, without it feeling clunky or badly designed. 

 

Screen Seamlessness

 

Website designers will need to design a website that flows fluidly from the normal mobile screen display to the full-screen display when the phone is unfolded. There should not be too much change in the layout, as this could confuse those using the website. A responsive website design will help with this seamless transfer, but be sure to test it on a device that is similar or using software that creates a similar environment. 

 

Make Room For Multi-Windows

 

Due to the larger surface area of the foldable phones, users are able to have multiple windows and tabs open at once. Your website should still be able to function while other programmes are running and should transition smoothly from being minimised and maximised on both the normal and unfolded screen size. Be sure that your website has been optimised so that it runs well on mobile phones no matter if they are folded or not. 

 

Start With Folded First

 

When designing the website, you should always think about how the website will look on a “folded” or normal mobile phone screen and then adjust it from there. This is because not many consumers will have these foldable phones at first, so you will need to appeal to the majority of your audience before you appeal to those who have access to and are using the foldable phone. 

 

The Future Is…Foldable?

 

Foldable phones are hot news in the technology sphere, but could have a significant impact on digital marketing and website design agencies. We will need to rethink our visual strategies when it comes to advertisements and website design. Thinking about how mobile phones will be used with a foldable phone and larger surface area is important, as well as ensuring that all designs are seamless. 

If you are looking for an updated website design to meet the needs of your future-thinking audience, contact NetMechanic today to find out how we can catapult you into the 21 st Century.