All About The Mobile User Experience

With more and more users doing almost everything on mobile, a big topic of conversation is how to continually improve the elements that make up the mobile user’s experience.

Creating mobile experiences that delight users causes us to rethink our default ‘desktop design’ mindset. You have to be aware of small type, buttons that are easily clickable, and prevalent information as prominent as possible. Elements of mobile user experience include social, functionality, content, design, marketing, usability, feedback, user input, and more.

As I think of the evolving problem-solving process that is mobile user experience, these are the things that come to mind:

  • Prioritize and present core features from other channels that have special relevance in a mobile environment. For example, outdoor gear chain Patagonia would include in-store shopping by way of easy access to product reviews on mobile devices.
  • Include features that are relevant to the business category. For retail websites and apps, this would include product search, order status and shopping cart.
  • Present links to the main features and content on the landing page, prioritized according to the user’s needs.
  • Consider including spellcheck suggestions, and auto-completion to reduce the effort required to input information and to reduce errors — with the ability to revert as needed.
  • Enable mobile users to navigate to the most important content and functionality in as few taps or key presses as possible.
  • Always give the user control over multimedia content by not auto-starting video or sound, by allowing the user to skip or stop multimedia content and by being mindful of the bandwidth it takes up.
  • Design for quick scanning.
  • Make it clear to the user what can be selected, tapped or swiped.
  • Make sure that touch targets are appropriately sized and well spaced to avoid selection errors. Some people have bigger fingers than others, and it can be incredible frustrating to have to go back five times because you keep hitting the wrong button/link.
  • Make it easy for users to control how their personal information is shared in a mobile app by asking before collecting their location data.
  • Notifications and alerts should be brief and informative, not interfere with anything the user is doing, and be easy to act on or dismiss.
  • Integrate social networking features into your website’s mobile experience to make it easy for users to connect with their own social networks.

There are so many more things to remember when designing a great mobile experience for users. It’s a growing, changing means of surfing the internet, and it’s quite fascinating.

What else would you add to the list? Do you do a lot of web surfing on your device?

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