When there occurred a paradigm shift from desktop to mobile, web design also moved from UI to UX. Even though UI still plays an important role in creating sites optimised for mobile access, the User Experience (UX) plays a far more important role now. User experience is something that traverses across the boundaries of aesthetics and graphics. Building on UI without concentrating on the UX is just like adding paint to a canvas without any forethought.
You may have the most user-friendly, eye-catching and functional desktop website. But if you aren’t considering the mobile user experience then you are just painting with no plan or thought. So what differentiates a great mobile experience from a mediocre one? There are several components that make up a highly optimised and effective mobile usage. Here are a few tips and best practices to get you started on that.
Migrate to Mobile First Ideology
If the website you build is aimed at mobile viewers then you have to break the conventional approach. Rather than incorporating mobile UX as an afterthought, focus your entire design on “Mobile First”. There is no harm in moving towards this ideology, when you are certain that a huge majority of your users will view your site on a mobile device. A recent survey by codemyviews.com indicates that there are currently 1.2 billion web users and the numbers are likely to keep on increasing in the near future.
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Just because you focus on a clean, simple mobile design, it doesn’t mean that your website can’t be sophisticated. Try to strike the right balance between sophistication and simplicity to create a clean, yet elegant and classy page.
Focus on Designing Fluid Layouts
There are simply too many screen sizes out there, that it becomes impossible to create a separate design for each one of them. Instead you must focus on creating a layout that seamlessly adapts to all the possible screen sizes. Fortunately, there are plenty of fluid layouts to lend you a helping hand. They make use of percentages rather than definite measurements, making them the top choice among web designers. Though they are a bit tricky to work on, the time you spend getting it right, is worth the effort, as it provides a seamless UX for mobile users.
Strive for Functionality
Functionality is what gets things done efficiently and quickly for users. Based on the usage of your website, tools that help users make a booking, search for products or reviews, all help the users in performing what they intend to do on your webpage. The whole site should be easy to navigate with the right buttons, tools and design elements, making it a breeze for the users to do the intended purpose.
Identify and Analyze your Users
First, identify who your targeted audience are. Then try to analyze the web browsing pattern of your average user. Further, explore on what gets them interested and what they want to achieve on your site. There are typically two broad categories of web users:
- Those who browse without a specific goal
- Those who look to do a specific task
Each of these two types of users, require different functions depending on their needs. So while you design your web page, have these two specific groups in mind and try to satisfy both their needs.
All Content for All Users
This should be your design mantra. Some designers make the grave mistake of opting to leave out contents on the mobile design. They take a stripped down approach when it comes to mobile design. This isn’t fair to the end user and you are likely to end up losing potential customers, just because they couldn’t do a particular task on the mobile design. You may have to spend some more time simplifying the layout or even moving few contents to other screens. But you have to ensure that it is all there to avoid losing customers.
Make sure that you embrace these tips as early as you can, to utilise the full potential of the migration to mobile devices. Forrester has stated that most companies have underinvested in mobile design. So get moving towards mobile optimisation, if you want your organisation to stay ahead of the race and expand your clientele!
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