February 19, 2016

Designing for the Mobile User Experience

There are now more people accessing the internet on mobile than there are those on desktops and laptops. It is clear that if you are not able to reach your audience through their phones and give them a positive experience you are missing out.

Mobile applications and websites have become the popular way we access the internet, and it’s only continuing to gain ground. Apps and responsive websites can be found everywhere, from retail brands, medical and legal organizations to news and travel companies. No matter your business, you need to be mobile.

Well-designed mobile experiences are a joy to interact with and encourage users to keep coming back. But if your application or website is poorly designed and fails to consider the user experience it will put people off and it is unlikely they will ever return.

The field of User Experience design is quickly becoming predominant and seen as a necessary part of any and all business efforts. It applies to not just the digital world but to any point you are interacting with customers, whether internal or external, consumers or another business.

Key considerations of the mobile experience

When it comes to mobile websites and applications they must be simple and fun to use, visually appealing, functional and trustworthy. It must be easy to understand and follow the navigational flow and needs to contain relevant and accurate content. A great User Interface supports and helps new and infrequent users while allowing repeat users to power through.

Other aspects to consider:

Mobility

Users on their mobiles are typically on-the-go so content must be presented in appealing, easily consumed, informative bits.

Interaction

It is most common to use one hand to operate your mobile, this needs to be taken into account so that critical buttons, links and key areas are clearly distinguished and accessible.

Responsiveness

Mobile users are more finicky than those on desktops and expect excellent performance and immediate responsiveness.

Effort

Given that the screens are smaller the fewer clicks needed to achieve a goal the better. Mobile users have shorter attention spans so it is critical to get them to their destination in the least amount of steps.

Diversity

Mobile applications and websites need to accommodate different operating systems, platforms, screen sizes and resolutions. To get the most out of the UI you have to consider not only screen size but also how things like navigation and browser bars impact on the usable area.

Guiding Principles

  • Identify the tasks your users want to accomplish.
  • Learn as much as you can about your users’ situation.
  • Presume users’ actions path and plan their next step/task.
  • Predict and prepare accordingly.

 

With the continued rise of mobile internet it is increasingly important that you have a responsive website to represent your business. Not only that but you must give users a positive experience no matter the device they are reaching you on. It can have a massive impact on how your business is perceived and whether people decide to buy from you or not. The digital world is here to stay, give yourself the best chance out in the marketplace and invest in your user’s experience.