Creating a Pleasant Mobile User Experience, Part 2

Mobile phones are usually personal rather than shared devices, so allowing users to save information and stay logged in can save them time. Showing touch keyboards where appropriate can also make things easier for the user.

While functionality, content, information architecture and design are all vital to the success of professional websites, several other factors also play a part in effective mobile website development. Part two of this series presents four more key elements for creating a positive mobile user experience.

User Input

Describes how difficult, or easy, it is for users to enter data on a website.

  • For mobile sites, it is important to keep the required effort minimal so a user does not need both hands to enter data and navigate the site.
  • Make registration forms very short, requiring only the most essential fields.
  • Showing default values whenever applicable can save mobile users time and frustration.
  • Take advantage of mobile devices’ built-in input mechanisms, such as voice, camera, gyroscope, motion and geo-location.
  • Mobile phones are usually personal rather than shared devices, so allowing users to save information and stay logged in can save them time. Showing touch keyboards where appropriate can also make things easier for the user.
  • Entering data is tiresome on mobile phones with only a numeric keypad, so plan out lists and forms accordingly.
  • Text prediction and auto-completion can speed up the data entry process, as can removing or disabling the CAPCHA feature.

Mobile Context

Is the setting in which usage occurs.

  • Mobile devices are used in nearly every possible context, so it is important to anticipate a variety of situations. Anticipate usage context for your site and take advantage of device capabilities to enhance users’ experience.
  • Utilise Mobile GPS features to show information and offers based on a user’s location.
  • Present the user with a device-appropriate experience and allow them to enable your site’s advanced features.

Usability

Measures how easy the site is to use.

  • Banish ambiguity in your website development. Tap-able, swipe-able, selectable items should be clear and obvious to the user.
  • When designing for touchscreens, make sure items are sized and spaced correctly to minimise frustration.
  • Create intuitive, professional websites with a gentle learning curve to avoid frustrating users.
  • Take viewing angle and lighting conditions into account in reference to font size, typography and contrast.
  • Not all devices support Java, JavaScript, Flash, cookies, pop-ups, auto-refreshing and frames, so you should not rely on these elements in mobile website development.

Trustworthiness

Is how confident and comfortable users are with a given app or website.

  • Smartphone users value their security and privacy. Never violate their trust by gathering personal data (such as contact list or location information) without their express permission.
  • Make your business practices and security policies easily accessible via links and tabs. Summarise these policies and give users the option to receive the whole document via e-mail.
  • Route users back to where they were before security disclaimers interrupted them.

Creating a Pleasant Mobile User Experience
Creating a Pleasant Mobile User Experience, Part 3
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