Sep 18, 2014
How to Design Kick-Ass Mobile UX
From social networks to smart phones, and now wearable devices like Apple’s new watch, our society is churning out and using an array of devices to access web content. I don’t really think we need to crunch the numbers to know that mobile devices have proliferated just about every just about every culture and corners of the planet.
No doubt there’s an array of opportunities for companies, marketers and brands to reach their customers in new ways. Mobile websites and mobile apps are the commerce that’s shaping the future.
Take now folks, users are expecting more and more out of their mobiles. Merely displaying a shrunken version of a website has become unacceptable. Whether it be a native application or a responsive website users expect a different and, at times, better experience on their devices.
“People’s capacity for bullshit is rapidly diminishing. As technology becomes more ubiquitous, people are getting used to the idea of interacting solely with things they want to interact with whenever they damn well please.” As web designer and responsive guru Brad Frost points out in an interview via webprofessionals.org.
So how to we cut through the bullshit and present great design experiences across all devices? Whelp I don’t have all of the answers but here are a few fundamentals that I’ve learned as well as a few great resources that you should check out.
Break it Down. What are the core purposes your mobile app or website serves? Process quick-and-easy online orders? Show off the latest and greatest that your company has produced? Sell services at the tap of a finger? Before you get rolling with your mobile app design or mobile website, narrow your priorities to just one to three.
Remember it’s better to do one thing well then 10 things half-assed.
Form and Function. Great design strikes a balance between form and function and I believe the paradigm slightly shifts toward function when it comes to a mobile website design. Mobile users are looking for uncomplicated, quick access to information or a transaction – they are not as interested in a lot of bells and whistles to play with and explore. Clear concise content is must and a call-to-action should be front and center. Here are some key parts that you may want to consider for your mobile website or app.
Native Application or Responsive Design? As HTML 5 becomes more popular responsive websites have certainly become more robust. For some companies it makes more sense to create a responsive website rather then creating a native application. Before you dive in and start creating there are an array of decisions that should be made, for instance a responsive site can be created and maintained from a single website to serve all devices verses an application which usually involves creating applications for all 3 primary platforms (Apple, Android and Windows). There’s also a hybrid option where the app does have an installer for each platform but sources it’s content from a single place and leverages some of the native tools and menus found on each device. Be sure to check out this case study via “Smashing Magazine”.
This is just the tip of the iceberg folks. There are many moving parts. If you’re interested in digging a bit deeper here are a few great articles and resources:
Brad Frost is one of the leading speakers, teachers and authorities on responsive website deisgn.
A List Apart is one of the most well respected and a great resource for all things website design.
9 Awesome Examples of Effective Mobile Website Design – Check it out!!
To discuss your mobile website design project, shoot me an email! I’d love to hear about your project.