How to Achieve World-Class Mobile User Experience
Posted 27 January 2014
In recent times we’ve experienced a remarkable shift in the way that our clients are addressing their website design specifications.
A recent study showed that 50% of internet users rely on mobile as their primary/exclusive way of connecting to the web. Mobile is such a different experience that conventional ways of designing websites are proving inadequate. We’re therefore working with more and more clients who are focused on providing world-class mobile user experience.
Whilst this needs to be addressed in a number of ways, here are 3 simple ways to help you achieve this goal:
1. Compelling Mobile-Specific Content
The content that you produce for your mobile website is crucial. It’s all about punchy, engaging text. The expectations of mobile visitors will be very different to desktop users. There are various ways in which we can achieve this.
The style of your prose needs to be adapted for your platform. If you’re normally flamboyant, you’ll need to express this in a pithy way. If you normally prefer long, flowing paragraphs, you’ll need to shorten everything. It’s not a matter of right or wrong; it’s essential that you understand your audience and work out what they need.
This might involve re-thinking the way you communicate online. Asking questions is a great way to help you with this. Can you express key messages in a brief and powerful way? Is your content memorable? How much information can your site visitors digest in 1 minute?
2. Efficient, Simple Navigation
There are various reasons why navigation is such a key part of mobile website design.
The user has a smaller screen, which means that you can’t simply bank on using a sidebar or elaborate menu. This means that the navigation menu needs to be very efficient. Users need to be able to find what they’re looking for very quickly. It also means the way you organise content needs to match the expectations of users. The way that you categorise information is vital.
There are also very pragmatic reasons. The download time for mobile users tends to be longer. This means that they will want to find information more quickly. It’s also more likely that users will come through organic search engine results. Whilst the landing page might give them the first answer, getting them to the rest of the website is what will convert pageviews into conversions.
3. Mobile-First Web Design Philosophy
The premise of mobile-first is very simple. Rather than assuming that the client needs a ‘desktop’ website that can then be modified for mobile users, we design with mobile clients in mind. This can then be upscaled for desktop users.
This might sound like a radical approach to responsive web design, and in many ways it is. However, with mobile users continuing to increase and smartphone/tablet sales remaining strong, we’re on the cusp of a tipping point. It’s foreseeable that in the next 3-5 years the way that we think about a ‘conventional website’ will change.
The beauty of mobile-first is that it allows us to focus on the user experience of the mobile user. The navigation, content and load-time of pages can all be tailored for optimum mobile use. It also guarantees a powerful, minimalistic experience for desktop users.