Mobile. It’s a topic that we hear about a lot these days. Designers have been pushing entrepreneurs to focus on it for a few years now. And Google has even recently started pushing its importance as well. I’m not sure about you, but I’m finding the subject pretty difficult to ignore. Yet despite the unrelenting discussion on mobile design, I’m finding many that still struggle with the concept of building a beautiful mobile website. And that’s why we’re here today. I’d like to take a few minutes to discuss some important tips regarding UX design on mobile devices. I hope that it helps you build a stronger, more effective site for your business and customers.
I’ve worked alongside many mobile designers and developers on various projects. And it always shocks me how many just don’t get it. Designing for mobile is an entirely different world than designing for desktop. (source) Yes, yes, yes… There are similarities. But that will only take you so far. If you’re not making a unique strategy for your mobile design, you’re missing out on powerful UX. You simply can’t avoid elements getting lost in translation if you expect a template responsive theme to automatically look amazing on mobile. Think about times when you’ve looked up a business while on your mobile device. Weren’t your intentions, goals and mindset much different than if you were at home on your desktop? Of course it was. I have all the time in the world when I’m on my desktop. In fact, I’m often looking for as much information as possible about a business and their offerings. But it’s different on mobile. When I’m out and about, I have a specific goal that I want to achieve as soon as possible. I’m looking for quick, easily accessible information. The first step to powerful mobile UX is understanding these mindset differences in desktop users vs mobile users.
People use the word mobile like it’s an all-inclusive, one-step design process. On the contrary, you’ll quickly learn that not all mobile devices are created equally. They run on different platforms and screen sizes. You’ll be designing for mobile sites and mobile apps. Consider these various devices and environments from your audience’s perspective. (source) Ask yourself: What is their mobile behavior like? Do they prefer mobile apps or sites? Are they predominantly Android users or Apple users? Understanding these basic behaviors will drive your UX design. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that iPhone and Android users interact the same way on mobile. They don’t. And that misconception could ruin your UX. (source) Let’s take eCommerce as an example. You’ll find research showing that iPhone users spend more on mobile eCommerce than Android users. And the fact that Android outnumbers iPhone users makes this even more significant. Knowing this, your eCommerce design would place a higher priority for strong iOS UX than Android - simply because consumer behavior shows where the money is at.
Once you have your audience’s mindset and behavior understood, it’s time to start designing. With mobile, I’ve found that less is more. Keeping designs clean and simple make a much greater impact than those that try to be “unique” by using too much information, unfamiliar menu icons and complicated processes. (source) Real estate on a mobile design is precious. There’s no reason to go beyond the realms of established practices. A minimalist mindset will go much further than try to infuse too much complexity in the name of creativity. Okay, that’s great, but what does minimalism in mobile design look like? Great question. (source) Essentially, it’s all about including the necessities. Nothing more, nothing less. Give users the content they’ll need to accomplish their goals on mobile. Make menus and buttons intuitive, always keeping a focus on simplicity. What is your experience with mobile UX design? Have you struggled building a strong mobile site that engages and helps your viewers?