Sometimes, I think Twitter and Facebook change their design specs every few months just to mess with us social media types. However, constant changes in optimal image sizes, header designs and algorithms are what keeps us on our toes, and makes social media fun. (These also, occasionally, want to make us poke our eyes out with a fork.)
I’ve noticed quite a few articles recently that give praise to the brands that have beautiful new header designs. (Not to toot any horns, but the page that my team and our designers painstakingly created even made a list from Hubspot.)
Here’s the kicker. I think a lot of folks, even the ones who are praising these great designs, have forgotten to consider one thing. It’s a big thing, actually. It’s the one thing you should NOT do with your new Twitter header design (or any social media design.)
It’s baffling to me, why Twitter would put out statistics on their blog about how many people access the social network on mobile (60% at last reading,) but redesign their platform and say it’s a desktop redesign.
And therefore, a lot of these brands have designed for a great desktop experience. But here’s the thing. There’s not another mobile experience. They are the same graphic.
When we set out to design the graphics for the Twitter channels that my team manages, we quickly found out how constrained we were, if we wanted the graphics to be responsive. Here’s what we learned:
1. Text on the graphics was really hard to pull off: If it looked good on mobile, it looked weird on desktop. If it looked great on desktop, it was cut off on mobile.
2. Busy images were a pain to work with: When there’s a busy image, the header text on mobile gets harder to read. Think about why Web pages are generally white backgrounds with black text. You want people to be able to read and understand what your page is all about.
3. Clever images were tricky: Good luck. I’ve seen a few that have pulled it off, but they must have some serious time on their hands. If you’re strapped for time, simple is better.
So when you are working on your new Twitter header graphics, or any social media graphics, make sure you don’t make the mistake of FORGETTING MOBILE.