A positive mobile UX (user experience) is now a must-have for any company that does business digitally. 47% of Americans browse the internet entirely or mostly on their smartphone—a number that is only going up. More people using their phones to browse websites also means more people using their mobile devices to make purchases, seek customer service, do research, and more.
Now more than ever, it’s critical that your business is able to offer a positive experience via a mobile website because modern consumers now expect a good experience and aren’t afraid to quickly leave poor ones.
Want to know what goes into building a memorable customer experience on your website? Download our eBook, What Makes a Quality Website? to see what you need to include in the next iteration of your site to provide positive customer experiences.
How to Design with a Mobile-First Mentality
With so many people choosing to browse almost exclusively on their phones, businesses now need to enter their web design strategies with a mobile-first mentality. This means designing from the ground up with mobile in mind and considering it during all major decision-making stages. Here are some things to keep in mind when designing websites and a few more ways that designing with mobile in mind can result in amazing and innovative experiences.
Consider Creating a Custom Mobile App
Businesses are turning to apps to bolster their digital presence and to meet the challenges of scalability and functionality. Today, 67% of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have an app.
Having an app can be a huge boon for businesses because they drive sales, keep customers engaged, and help to improve their services. Not to mention the added ability afforded to analyze campaigns in real-time makes location-based marketing a reality.
It’s becoming easier than ever for businesses to create their apps. An app provides many features and supports parts of the customer experience, which mobile interfaces have traditionally struggled with. For example, apps can be optimized for transaction processes and online shopping, whereas a mobile design may struggle with scaling an interface built for a computer.
Related Blog: Improving Customer Experience with Low-Code
There’s already a race to adopt mobile apps for a variety of business functions amongst some of the most prominent vendors online. Starbucks, Amazon, and Walmart are examples of large businesses that have all stepped away from the use of mobile-responsive websites toward apps to enhance the online shopping experience.
And it works. Amazon, for example, boasts some 54.4 million app users with at least 50% of its users regularly making purchases through it. Likewise, Starbucks estimates that at least 40% of its app users have made an in-store purchase using mobile payment.
It used to be that only large corporations could afford to make a dedicated customer app for their business, but that’s no longer the case. Now it’s more affordable than ever for SMBs to create an app to engage with customers and generate more leads.
How Low-Code Makes Apps Accessible for All Businesses
Things like rapid app development platforms are making apps accessible for businesses of all industries. For example, Mendix facilitates the creation of enterprise-grade, cloud-hosted apps without the need to create an extensive—and possibly cost-prohibitive—development team.
Low-code development platforms offer the perfect solution SMBs because they allow users to design and build applications with little to no coding experience necessary. The best low-code apps are easy to deploy, scalable, secure, and include visual development tools.
The future of low-code solutions lies in the data. As these platforms develop, low-code platform builders need to look to connect their platforms to even more data sources. The use of such tools is currently cutting-edge, but 2019 is already indicating that they will become commonplace. Digital transformation must consider them to extend a company’s digital presence further.
Modern Customer Expectations for Mobile UX
Customers increasingly expect to be met by businesses on their preferred choice of device and interface. In 2019, that preference lies overwhelmingly with mobile devices, and customers can be unforgiving—research suggests over half of the users abandon sites that take over three seconds to load.
According to Google, people who have a negative brand experience on mobile are 60% less likely to purchase from that brand again.
However, apps provide positive experiences for customers because they’re specifically built for mobile devices, not merely adapted for them. In addition to more familiar exercises such as shopping on the go and more accessible payment platforms, apps also support a much broader range of UX functionalities than mobile-friendly websites.
For example, one of the most significant areas of growth for mobile UX involves the use of apps to facilitate customer support. Providing adequate support has always been a pain point for businesses, with one of the biggest complaints from users being an inability to get ahold of a person to address an issue they have.
However, apps make this process more streamlined, thereby helping meet the customer expectation that they’ll be able to connect with support when they need it. Their issue can be more quickly answered with automation or directed to the correct person to be resolved—all through a strong mobile UX platform.
Mobile UX Design Best Practices
To help build a mobile site that’s engaging, easy to navigate, and provides a positive experience for all visitors, you can generally follow simple UX best practices when designing. Here are some examples of ways that your thinking should change when working on a mobile site:
1. Build Simpler Navigation
Mobile sites must be simple for visitors to use because of the limitations that come from mobile devices. Smaller screens mean that you have significantly less space than on a desktop and touchscreen navigation changes how people interact with your buttons and menus.
You need to design site navigation that is intuitive while matching these limitations. If you don’t, you’ll create a frustrating experience that’s difficult to understand and which causes visitors to leave your site.
2. Reduce Clutter and Chaos
One of the goals of building a simpler site for mobile is to reduce the clutter and chaos that you can get away with on the desktop version. This might mean removing images, infographics, features, functions, videos, animations, and anything else that’s not necessary for the site to serve its purpose.
This is very much a case-by-case basis, and you can best decide what to include and eliminate but, generally, you’ll want to reduce the amount of things happening by a significant amount.
3. Prioritize What You Want People to See
When reducing the clutter and simplifying your mobile site, you should consider exactly what the most important things are that you want your site visitors to see. What content should you focus on? On mobile, you don’t have the space to feature multiple blogs or videos; instead, you need to pick one. Prioritize what your visitors need to know or see for your site to work as intended.
4. Design with a Human Hand in Mind
Consider the physical limitations of your user on their phone. To comfortably scroll and navigate your site, you need to design the core elements to be easily used within the average reach of a hand holding a phone.
Keep this in mind when designing your navigation elements so you don’t put key buttons out of reach or force your user to constantly reach up or down on the page, having to adjust the way they hold their phone and irritating them on the way.
5. Don’t Stray from Convention
On mobile, you have a lot less space to get your point across. This typically means resorting to icons or short phrases (usually just one or two words) to help people understand the intention of a button or link or menu.
Don’t try and get cute or unique, stick to what works and what people will naturally understand. Use a standard hamburger menu icon, a cog for settings, bookmark shape for saved posts, and words like locations, contact us, or blog for these pages.
6. Consider Readability
For the copy on your mobile site, remember to think about the reading experience on a phone. Do you need to use bigger or clearer fonts? Can you eliminate long paragraphs to shorten pages?
Evaluate all of your copy and modules to ensure that everything can be easily skimmed and read on a phone-sized screen.
Digital Transformation and the Mobile UX
Digital transformation emphasizes UX for mobile as a strategy for how to grow a business in 2019. While an emphasis on a mobile-friendly digital presence has existed for a few years, it’s beginning to become apparent that mobile-friendly needs to mean mobile-first. After all, most customers now interact with the internet—and thus with most brands—on their phones.
The advent of more accessible app creation tools, such as Mendix, is further driving how businesses optimize their mobile user experience. Apps extend the digital presence, driving sales by providing one more convenient way for customers to get exactly what they need.
- Designing websites with mobile users in mind requires a different mindset. You must put yourself in the shoes of someone using a smaller touchscreen device when making decisions. Everything from readability to designing for touch screens and hand size must be accounted for.
- Small to mid-sized businesses have more tools than ever before when building mobile experiences. Using low code to develop a custom app might be a stronger solution than cramming everything onto a mobile site.
- Modern customers now expect a great mobile experience. Providing anything less than ideal will quickly have users leaving your site.
Explore everything you need to build an optimized, user and mobile-friendly website that attracts, engages, and provides a world-class experience. Download our eBook, What Makes a Quality Website? to see what you need to build the perfect site.