4 Ways To Stop Mobile Sites Failing
A survey carried out in 2011 revealed that only 29.7 percent of the web’s top 10,000 sites are optimised for mobile. An ever-increasing mobile-savvy population is demanding better experiences, so with this in mind, here are four of the most common mobile site fails.
1. Not Considering The Mobile User’s Location
The question of what consumers are doing when they come across your brand has a lot to do with the success of the encounter. You need to care about where users are when they access your site. The site should for example establish your location and point you to the brand’s nearest store. It could also be taken a step further, by offering an in-store pick-up service so my purchase can be ready when I get there.
2. Creating Sites That Are Not ‘Thumb-friendly’
3G smartphones allow full-featured traditional websites to be accessed on a mobile screen at reasonable speed, which has made us much lazier about actually building sites for mobile. Virtually all brands can now claim to have a mobile website, as long as that is defined as “a site that shows up on a mobile device.” This leads to the issue of thumbs, which are what humans mainly use to navigate their mobile devices.
A site built for a 1024 x 768 screen cannot be successfully navigated just by using a thumb, on a 320×480 screen. A good mobile site is built for the thumb. It prioritises user task paths down to an important few that can be delivered at a thumb-friendly size. Offering an option to go the full site is also a good idea.
3. Forms That Fail
Since most sites are continuing to deliver poorly designed forms after so many years of the traditional web, it is not surprising that mobile forms are even worse.
It is particularly important that travel-related forms should be highly usable, because travellers are short on time and often stressed. Aim to create a form designed to satisfy. The form should require no zooming, no side-to-side scrolling, and break down a longer process into manageable steps. It doesn’t need to display every possible field, but instead deliver only the fields the user needs based on the information that person provides each step of the way.
4. Losing Your Brand
Designed for the thumb, mobile sites can be relatively un-attractive. Online retailers especially tend to sacrifice their brand story on their mobile sites for the sake of delivering their catalogue of products well.
The assumption is that mobile users are not researching the brand, working out what the company stands for, and what makes it different etc. This assumption is however wrong.
The brand needs to be optimised for mobile and creativity is important. Consider how you might tell your brand story specifically for the mobile user.