3 things you HAVE to consider when designing for mobile

2 minutes read / Web design

40{3eb5e81dc2dbd5243766a445dfd7203b99614852f30724c0fcd7c1e47478fab9} of users will go to a different site if the one they are using isn’t mobile friendly. But that doesn’t mean just making sure that your graphics resize and your content fits on the page. People ‘behave’ different on their smartphones; they browse on them in a different way to their desktops or laptops. Here are 3 things you should consider when optimising your site for mobile use.

Keep It Simple

Our short attention span is even more pronounced when it comes to mobile browsing. We lose interest quickly and are easily distracted by notifications from other apps. The chances are, once you’ve switched away from what you were doing, you won’t return. Likewise, if people get lost browsing your site, or worse, can’t find the navigation, you are likely to lose them.

A surprising amount of people still don’t understand the hamburger menu icon (we have an awesome blog post on how to create your own hamburger menu). In fact, icons in general are not always universally recognised. This will vary according to your site audience age and experience but is definitely something to consider. Likewise, there is an expectancy for all navigation to be at the top of the screen; people will rarely look to the bottom of their screen or hunt around for buttons. If you are trying to be innovative with design, remember that functionality and usability are still crucial. Consider including prompts or clearly flagging any unusual mobile navigation layout. If you are using icons, make sure they are consistent with the style and meaning of other sites.

Rely on learned behaviours

Expectancy isn’t limited to navigation. When using our mobiles, we have a finite number of gestures that we use. Scrolling, swiping and tapping. Directionality is also key; we expect swiping left to move content in a specific direction, likewise with swiping down. Again, this will be more prevalent amongst the smartphone generation, but build your app or website with these gestures in mind.

As with navigation, we would suggest clearly indicating or explaining any variation in gestures or new functionality for gestures. Use visual cues to prompt users to try out techniques you would like them to use, and add in frequent reminders. Above all, don’t allow them to detract from your site’s UX. Behaviours should make it easier for users to interact with your site, not harder.

Employ UX psychology – use triggers and visual cues

We respond to prompts and appreciate rewards. Move users through a desired process with clearly visual stimuli and motivation. Where possible, employ rewards techniques (think, satisfying pings and whooshes; the task management system Asana employs flying unicorns). Even as adults, we still subconsciously crave a gold star for good work. Using the dangling carrot method and the bribe of satisfactory completion can prevent your users from being distracted by notifications.

asana workflow unicorn

Want to have a chat about carrots and unicorns? Amazing, so do we. You can drop us a line via [email protected] or fill in our easy contact form to talk all things web design.

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