Published on February 11th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
Mobile UX: Best Practices
About 2 billion people use only their phones to access the Internet. As smartphone technology continues to advance, it’s likely we’ll see that number continue to grow. In fact, it’s projected that by 2025, 72% of people will access the Internet only using their smartphones.
So it’s easy to recognize the importance of user experience when it comes to mobile websites and apps. That’s not to say the desktop experience still isn’t important.
But if you’re ignoring mobile design, features, and ease of use, you could be shutting out a big part of your audience. People who are browsing the Internet on their mobile devices expect quick load times, sites and apps that are easy to navigate, and extra features that are just as accessible as they are on a desktop.
Image Source: Unsplash
What can you do to put some of the most important mobile UX best practices in place?
Balancing Desktop and Mobile Experiences
To create a better mobile experience for users, you have to first take a look at your desktop design. There’s a lot you can learn from it, a lot of features you can borrow from it, and a lot of data that you can use to make your mobile site even better.
Speaking of data, before you even look at UX, you have to consider user safety. Mobile devices are at a higher risk of data breaches than desktops. It’s simply because they don’t often have the level of security or antivirus software that most computers do. Implementing extra security efforts like multi-step verifications and limiting permissions on your app/site can help to keep your users and their data safe.
Once you’re confident in securing data via mobile, you can use the information you already receive from your desktop website to make mobile UX even better. For example, which pages perform well on your site? What are people clicking on and what are they searching for? Data visualization and predictive analytics can help you to determine what patients, clients, and customers, for example, really appreciate from your website or app so you can create a better mobile experience for them while cutting out the clutter from your desktop site.
What other factors should you consider in comparing mobile and desktop experiences? One of the main things is to think about how, where, and why people are checking the Internet on mobile devices? Typically, it’s for quicker searches and smaller bits of information. For example, they might use a desktop to pick out seats and buy tickets for a concert, but visit that same website on their mobile device to look up information about the venue, confirm showtimes, etc. When you put yourself in the user’s shoes, you can create a better mobile experience by (once again), clearing out the clutter.
The Details in Design
The most important thing to focus on when designing a mobile app or website is navigation. If a user isn’t able to get around a site quickly, they’re going to go elsewhere. Recognizable patterns, icons, and or familiar imagery is often the best way to make navigation intuitive for mobile users as they browse your site. Keep in mind that, especially when using a mobile device, the user expects a clear picture of what your site is about. Content may be king, but it’s only one part of the user experience. Design is just as important when you’re trying to get someone to stick around long enough to look at your content.
We’ve mentioned cleaning up clutter a few times in this article, but how can you actually do that through design?
The easiest way is to take some of the best details from your site (remember, the data you collected about what users are actually looking for?) and focus on making them clear and easy to use on a mobile device. If you start including a bunch of unnecessary features, your mobile application/site will probably be hard to navigate, and won’t be as informative as it could be if you just highlighted a few important things. When you make use of fewer functions, you automatically improve UX by making the site or app easier to navigate.
Finally, a small detail you may not initially think about in your design is typing. In this world of texting, WhatsApp, Snapchat, and endless other messaging apps, you might not think people would care much about having to type on their phones. In fact, on average, people who type with both thumbs can reach about 38 wpm on their phones. But, if you had to choose between a website or app that allowed you to navigate with single touches or a website or app that required you to type a lot of information, you’d likely choose the option that took less effort. Again, streamlining your best features and making things quick and easy to work through is the key.
Making More Mobile-Friendly Content
Between keeping users safe and developing designs that are easy to navigate, you can create mobile-friendly content that people will appreciate and enjoy using. Do your best to keep your content consistent, no matter how a user might be viewing it.
That might mean adapting designs, compressing file sizes, and even condensing information to streamline it. But, mobile-friendly content will help to improve your SEO, allow users to stay on your site/app longer, and will keep your information relevant as more people make the switch to browsing the web on the go.