With the rising dominance of mobile devices, it has become crucial to design your website to perform effectively on different screens and platforms. Although numerous businesses have invested in improving the mobile experiences of their viewers and consumers over the last few years, many have only employed a precarious strategy of developing mobile-friendly applications and incorporating responsive web-designs.
While important aspects of their websites such as text, graphics, navigation and download rates are all optimised for mobile devices, many businesses forget to adopt a comprehensive approach to determining the overall experience a user has when they access their website.
The following factors are the most commonly occurring UX mistakes across several platforms which must be taken into account in order to better understand how to streamline use across all channels.
When evaluating user experience, there are several crucial differences between desktop and mobile to be aware of, including:
- Location: Though many desktop websites now ask viewers if they can access their geographical location, the methods of tracking a viewer’s location are less efficient than those on a mobile device. While desktops will improve their accuracy as IP addresses begin to administer more accurate geographical locations, viewers have become more reliant on their smartphones knowing where they are located and providing them with specific directions, weather updates, and local search results.
- Size: Mobile screens are smaller than desktop screens and are also organized differently. The majority of desktops feature a landscape position, while many mobile devices show content in the portrait position. This has severe consequences for site design and navigation.
- Photo and Video Capacities: Most mobile users know taking photos and videos with their devices is far easier than on a desktop. As the pixel quality of smartphones and tablets continues to improve, more pictures and videos are being taken on mobile devices.
- Push Notifications: While we have been able to receive alerts on desktops for many years, they will never have the same influence, or messaging approachability, as push notifications do on a phone or tablet.
- Portability: This may seem obvious, but portability is one of the primary reasons mobile usage has surpassed desktop usage. Most people take their smartphones with them wherever they go, and even though laptops are still relatively portable computers, people are far more likely to have their smartphone or tablet on hand than their laptop.
Common Mistakes and How to Fix Them
Designing Your Own Website
Many businesses design their websites in-house, which can make it difficult to separate their desires from the needs of the user. As a business owner, it is important to keep in mind that designing a user experience is similar to creating copy; the material is for your audience rather than for you. Without the help of usability testing or other types of conversion guidelines when designing a website, viewers may encounter errors when viewing your site on mobile without your knowledge.
What You Can Do
- Administer comprehensive research to distinguish issues. Explore what areas users are leaving from, where are they employing the most time, and what pages they press the back button on the most.
- When you determine your problem zones, investigate why users are leaving when they get to specific pages. Attempt to prioritise the problems you have discovered based on how influential and easy they are to repair.
- Decide whether solutions to these problems need to be strategically planned and tested accordingly, such as enhancing SEO, or if they can be fixed immediately, such as reducing pop-ups or reconfiguring font sizes.
- Be sure to create hypothetical reasons for all problems that need to be looked into and experiment accordingly.
You may have visited certain sites on mobile and realised it was almost impossible to click on anything or leave the site because of the surplus of ads dominating the screen. When excess calls to action make it hard for viewers to navigate and scroll, they often become frustrated and leave the site altogether.
What You Can Do
- If you are trying to use advertisements as a means of building your brand name and establishing customer loyalty, ads should not impede a viewer’s ability to scroll.
- Compose your call to action as precisely as possible without excess pop-ups.
Clicking vs Tapping Awareness
One of the most significant aspects that absolutely must be adjusted for in mobile design is the difference between clicking and tapping. It is effortless to click a small link on a desktop with the use of a mouse, but when you are on your mobile device, clicking is an entirely different story. Once you are aware of this issue, it is relatively easy to fix.
What You Can Do
- Expand interface components, such as links, call-to-action buttons, and navigation markers and always check to make sure there is an appropriate amount of space separating them.
Assuming the Rules are Identical
Always remember the distinction between rules for mobile and rules for the desktop. Memorise the following concepts before you implement anything on your site:
- Securing the quality of your website’s operations and loading times is instrumental in assuring the success of viewer experiences. This is where cross testing your website on many devices becomes extremely helpful. Ensure that your site works and loads promptly on all devices. You may not have a smartphone, but your users might.
- Since your mobile UX and desktop UX are disparate from one another, test them both individually.
- The fewer taps a user has to make to navigate your site, the more convenient it is for them overall. Do not spend time creating multiple pages if you can consolidate your content into one or only a few pages.
- Review each device’s user experience independently, which means conducting individual research, analysis, reports, and testing procedures.
- Concentrate on enhancing the user experience on one device at a time. This focus will help you build the most appropriate UX for each particular device.
- When conducting the testing, determine any problems with UX. Pay close attention to issues concerning image sizing, drop-down menus, missing visuals, abnormal loading, slow site speed, inaccessible links, and fault navigation.
- Mobile sites are optimised when the navigation is vertical rather than horizontal. Even though horizontal is the standard navigation style for desktops, vertical navigation improves the ability of mobile users to focus in on specific areas of a website.
- Though desktop sites can display a significant amount of content, mobile screens are much smaller, meaning there is far less room for text, visuals, and other forms of content. To establish a good mobile design, you should limit the amount of material you feature and try to prioritise what is most important. While this might mean reducing the amount of text or removing certain images or graphics, large amounts of content can increase loading speeds, which is detrimental to the UX of a mobile user.
- Dropdown menus are effective when used on desktops, but dropdowns are a huge issue for users on mobile who are continually tapping to interact with their screens. Instead of featuring a complicated drop-down menu, use a date range picker, which allows users to pick dates quickly, requiring only a couple of taps.
This brings us to the end of this round-up of the key areas you need to look out for to provide a consistent and optimal user experience across different devices.
If you are looking to reshape your website by creating a completely mobile-friendly experience for users, consider the above-mentioned information regarding the differences between mobile and desktop platforms.
Want to learn more?
If you’d like to become an expert in UX Design, Design Thinking, UI Design, or another related design topic, then consider to take an online UX course from the Interaction Design Foundation. For example, Design Thinking, Become a UX Designer from Scratch, Conducting Usability Testing or User Research – Methods and Best Practices. Good luck on your learning journey!
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