Website users are evolving as mobile devices and tablets become more prevalent. As users change, e-commerce has to adapt. It is not enough to have a web store anymore. The following 5 guidelines will help you focus on reaping the benefits of mobile commerce usability.
1. KISS Navigation
With smaller screens and shorter attentions spans, simple navigation is a priority in web design. The keep it simple aspect of menus makes it easier for people to find what they are looking for before they become frustrated and leave.
What would KISS navigation look like? You would offer clear options to the visitor so they know where they are headed on your site. You would keep the number of categories low, have no more than seven headers and keep titles straight forward.
2. Responsive Design
Responsive Web Design (RWD) allows designers to implement features that allow your site to become mobile friendly. Fluid Grids, media queries and flexible media allow you to have a website that adapts to the screen size and touch factors for mobiles. By resizing content to fit any screen, understanding data constraints, and substituting images your site is appealing on any device.
When you create responsive web sites you need to consider the content that is provided. That is because you don’t only have to consider the device you also have to consider the needs of the person holding that device.
Mobile devices have become so prevalent that some designers have adapted a strategy that makes responsive design a priority. This mobile first premise includes optimization. Beyond SEO, web creators need to look at the language of the site to determine if it is user-friendly.
When it comes to optimization, design gurus consider WWGD (What would Google do?). Google has always emphasized a great content strategy to website owners and has been altering their algorithms to reward great content. When it comes to mobile usability, Google recommends responsive design and simple language that helps comprehension.
Mobile users are accessing eCommerce sites while on the go or when they have a few free minutes. While they are used to longer load times and data constraints, they don’t have a lot of patience for complicated navigation or confusing wording.
4. Friendly Add-ons
Mobile users also won’t tolerate issues when checking out or paying for their purchase. Make sure that your shopping cart and payment systems are adaptable for mobile use. Payment systems like Bitcoin that work well for mobile browsers were simplify the buying process and increase return customers.
When you create a website that has a mobile first strategy you are improving the experience of all users. If Judy can navigate your site and pay for her products while she is watching her daughter’s soccer game on a sunny day then you have a site that will reduce bounce rate and increase customer satisfaction.
5. This is a Test
Web design is one part inspiration and three parts testing. You need to constantly test your site to make sure that the changes you made are working properly and users are able to access all pages on your site. Security, speed and navigation are three areas you should monitor with consistent testing.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes when examining your site for possible problems. If you are checking mobile design do it from a mobile device or tablet. This way you will determine possible issues and be able to fix them before they become a major customer service issue.
Making a site mobile friendly is not an option, it is mandatory. By simplifying your site’s navigation, check-out procedure and language you are making it user friendly on all devices. Including responsive design for your eCommerce site will help tablet and smartphone users see your site the way you want it to be seen.
Want to learn more?
If you’re interested in mobile UX, you could take the online course on Mobile User Experience. It includes templates you can use in your own projects and you’ll get an industry-recognized certificate to improve your career. If, on the other hand, you’d like to…
- learn all the details of Usability Testing
- get easy-to-use templates
- learn how to properly quantify the usability of a system/service/product/app/etc
- learn how to communicate the result to your management
… then you might take the online course Conducting Usability Testing.
Lastly, if you want to brush up on the basics of UX and Usability, the online course on User Experience could provide you with the necessary knowledge. Good luck on your learning journey!