You’ve probably heard it all before. I know I’m starting to feel like a broken record. MOBILE MOBILE MOBILE. The point of this post is not to convince you why you need mobile. Instead I’d like to talk about a few things to consider when looking at your site from a mobile perspective. What we are looking at here is “how does the user experience rate or in some cases, degrade when looking at your site on a mobile device?”
Function over flash. This is one fact that there is just no getting around. Mobile phones will have slower download speeds and with the data limits many people have on their phones, your mobile site must be quick to download and download gracefully. Do you have flashy image banners or animations? Lots of different colors and fonts. People don’t want that on a mobile site. One of the biggest pitfalls I see is when clients want to keep the desktop “wow factor.” Mobile users don’t want to be wowed. They want to get in, get what they want and get out.
Fat fingers. With the introduction of touch screens, the way we “do internet” has drastically changed. Instead of an easily navigable mouse on a large screen, we have fat fingers on small real estate. Are you buttons easy to find and click? How often do you “mispress” a link or button, only to have to refresh the page and wait all over for it to download? Nothing with frustrate a user more than being able to see what they want and not be able to get to it. Buttons should be at least 40px by 40px, with plenty of room so that you don’t accidentally hit another button.
Flow. Ask yourself what is absolutely necessary for a mobile user. What content are they more likely to be needing if they are on a mobile phone or tablet? If you have a restaurant or storefront, they are more likely to be looking for contact info or directions, instead of browsing your online store. Let’s feature this content and put it higher up on the page. Let’s get rid of zoom! Can you imagine it? A mobile world without zooming! One can dream.
So how did your site rate? Unless you have optimized your site for the mobile device, it is unlikely you were able to navigate your site frustration-free. Now imagine you had never seen your site before. How would your site rate for a first time user?