Mobile UX Design: 5 UX Best Practices Every Designer Should Consider
Article by J.C. Yee and Yenni Loo
Graphics Design by Ryan Rivera
Why Should Businesses Focus on Mobile-First?
Studies have consistently shown that the majority of people depend on their mobile devices every day. Be it for personal or professional use, mobile consumption has steadily increased, and people have become more reliant on their mobile devices than ever before.
In recent years, we have witnessed innovations in devices beyond smartphones and tablets. Technology and software companies are now pouring attention into wearables as well as other devices that help a user stay connected wherever they go and whatever they do.
With this, it is clear that there’s an enormous need for businesses to provide users with an exceptional mobile experience. If a business wants to continue to stay on top of their market, their website would need to be easily accessible whenever a client looks for them on the go.
In this article, we’ll provide you with the necessary information you need when creating the best mobile user experience with your business website.
Understanding Mobile Constraints
“Mobile screens are smaller: reading through a peephole increases cognitive load and makes it about twice as hard to understand.” – Jakob Nielsen, Web Usability Consultant.
Before we dive into knowing how you can design the best mobile experience possible, you first need to be aware of the top 3 constraints when users interact with their mobile devices.
When we say environment, we mean the actual environment users are in. Mobile devices are used anywhere, which means that a user’s attention and behaviour are dependent on their surroundings. If they are in an environment which causes them to be easily distracted, then they could be leaving your website or going offline more often.
Take note of environmental factors when creating a good user experience for your website.
Unlike desktop or laptop users, mobile users can only see one window or screen at a time. This limits user experience and provides frustration every time a user needs to view another app or screen. As such, your mobile UX design must enable users to do the most important things on a single screen. Always limit the instances where people would have to leave your app or site to find information or accomplish tasks.
How users hold a mobile device
Experts on user experience have pointed out that people’s manner of interaction with their devices are dependent on how they hold them. Some other findings in line with this include:
- Users prefer to touch the centre of their screens most of the time
- Users play key actions in the middle half to two-thirds of the screen
- Designers must ensure that the content displayed on the screen won’t be obscured by fingers and thumbs
- Buttons, therefore, must be large enough to be tapped on comfortably
Here are some tips to help you create the provide your users with the best mobile experience possible.
5 Best UX Practices When Designing for Mobile
1. Minimise clutter
Every person who visits a website or app on a mobile device is looking to achieve a goal in the shortest period of time possible. As such, there shouldn’t be unnecessary information, buttons, or pop-ups that may hinder a user’s journey.
Otherwise, your screen will just be riddled with clutter which could cause frustration. Eventually, users could run out of patience and leave your site or app altogether. Eliminating everything that isn’t absolutely vital to their course of action is a great place to start.
Let’s take a look at data input for example. Filling out a form with four or five fields might not be a big deal on a desktop or laptop computer, but on a mobile device, those four or five fields might be enough to turn a user away. Structure them nicely, and ensure that every single field in a form being filled in on a mobile device is necessary. Get rid of those that are not.
You can also help save their time by giving users the second option to log in or sign up via their social media or internet accounts (Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc.) rather than just letting them sign up from scratch. Doing this will help improve conversions.
2. Prioritise What’s Necessary
Some companies would always want to add as many features and information as possible. They do this so that the user will be aware of all the things a company offers, hoping that they would convert for one of them.
Unfortunately, putting too much information on an app or website will likely create a worse experience for users. Information overload is a common mistake in this digital age because people assume that more information is better. However, this defeats the purpose of getting users to achieve things in a simple and straightforward way.
When creating a website or app for mobile users, always keep the user journey highly focused based on the user’s needs. Tailor your design based on which features will be most helpful to them to ensure that your product will be more intuitive and enjoyable to use.
3. Optimise Mobile Layout
Mobile UX design isn’t entirely different from any form of layout design. However, with the above-mentioned factors and constraints, designers and product owners must consider certain factors.
First is the size of the touchscreen targets. A mouse or trackpad can help a user hover and click with accuracy, but fingertips are inherently less accurate. In addition, every person has a unique fingertip and mobile screen size.
As such, screen targets, such as buttons, should be around 7 to 10 mm on a mobile device’s screen. A well-designed touchscreen target will prevent accidental taps, which allows users to aim and tap naturally.
Another factor to consider is hand position controls and the “thumb zone” on mobile devices. Thumb zone is the area of a phone’s screen that can be easily accessed with a thumb on a one-handed use. Placing the most important content and features in this zone is critical to creating an intuitive experience.
4. Make Texts Legible
People on mobile are always consuming content. Be it video, pictures or stories, much of users’ time on mobile is based on content consumption because it provides a level of satisfaction for users.
This is why it’s highly important that texts are easily readable across all types of mobile devices. Hard-to-read text may cause the site or app to suffer from poor usage. To ensure that your text is easy to read, be it on a tablet or a mobile phone, always choose typefaces that work well in multiple sizes and weights.
Observe proper spacing, and ensure that the font is optimised for display and not print. Design experts recommend font sizes of at least 11 pt to reduce eye strain. Clean typefaces such as Roboto or Apple’s own San Francisco font are great choices for Android and iOS.
5. Don’t Forget About UI Feedback
Well-designed touchpoints keep us informed whenever we successfully interact with them. Feedback on the user interface (UI) is used to explain and improve user satisfaction. A good example is Twitter’s heart button. When you ‘heart’ a tweet, the heart will respond with a colourful burst, signalling you about the action you just made.
Another example is Facebook’s Like button. Pressing it will make the ‘Like’ icon blue, letting you know that you have ‘liked’ the post you viewed.
Without good UI feedback, users might get confused about their actions. It could cause them to question and be frustrated about whether an action is successful or not. As UX experts, we believe that UI feedback comes in many forms, these include sound, haptics and visualisations.
Good UI feedback indicates that your site or mobile app is responsive, providing the user with a certain level of confidence they need to continue using your product.
Good Mobile User Experiences Enable Better Brand Recognition
True enough, the importance of UX Design cannot be ignored especially when designing digital products for mobile users. Mobile apps or websites are vital digital touchpoints that can always make or break your relationship with your prospects. As design experts, we highly believe that website and app owners must invest in good mobile UX to capture your audience, save resources and elevate your brand. With mobile UX design experts on your side, you can implement good mobile UX from the start, saving you from potential problems that could occur in the future.
Ensure good mobile user experience with UX Design experts at Verz Design. Contact us at 6841 1680 or email us at [email protected] for a free consultation.