Ways to improve your mobile user experience

Posted on September 9, 2008 by admin

The explosive growth in mobile devices poses significant user experience challenges. Mobile devices that run web applications are ubiquitous – 20 million Blackberry devices and 10 million iPhones are in use, and 1.5 million Google Android devices have been pre-sold. People are using mobile devices to run web applications and access web content. Downloads from Apple’s AppStore have reached 200 million. Google offers a variety of mobile services [1]. Developers of mobile applications are introducing new offerings at a dizzying rate. If your user experience is being viewed on mobile device there are some basic things to keep in mind. You may be wondering where to start. Here are some ways to focus on the mobile user experience.

Shorten pages – Users have little time to scroll on a mobile device – and if your page takes too long to load, they may not even wait.

Shorten paths – Mobile devices may not have enough memory for lots of drilling down – an iPhone stores six pages before the user must eliminate one to make room in memory.

Provide a page just for mobile devices – More and more mobile devices can view normal web pages, but users will be on the go and may need a unique experience customized for the mobile context.

Use the primary scanning area – Users often ignore information that is not at the top of the centre content – the smaller the display the more likely.

Put the key links near the top – Make sure that links that are critical to users completing their task are in the primary scanning area, near the top in the middle of the page.

Link to HTML rather than other document types – Users may not be able to view native-format documents accurately without special applications.

Consider offering an “app” – Users are accustomed to quick ways to get to a mobile service. If you have a sub-site deep in your site, consider taking users directly to it with an “app”, much like GoogleDocs or LinkedIn take users directly to a web page for mobile devices.

Test on mobile devices – Test with tasks that users do while they are mobile. Identify your mobile users, prioritize their mobile tasks, prototype the experience and usability test it with them, on mobile devices.

These are good working principles for any high-volume task on your website, no matter what the device. Figure out who your users are, what they need to do, the context for doing those tasks, and how well they can do it in a live usability test.

Contact us [2] to help improve your user experience for mobile users.

Back to Top [3]



Quote of the month

“What leads to success?

“Passion – hard work – getting good – focus – push – ideas – persistence.”

Richard St. John’s 3-minute summary of 500 interviewee responses [4]


URLs in this post:

[1] Google offers a variety of mobile services: http://m.google.com

[2] Contact us: mailto:insighter@neoinsight.com?subject=mobile+user+experience

[3] Back to Top: #top

[4] Richard St. John’s 3-minute summary of 500 interviewee responses : http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/richard_st_john_s_8_secrets_of_success.html

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