It’s no secret that mobile users and mobile usage are growing exponentially. From the end of 2010 to the end of 2014, time spent on smartphones increased 394%. This is a huge market your company can take advantage of – if done properly. Here are some tips on how to increase the mobile experience for your customers:

Touch Feature

Some people struggle using touchscreen buttons, so make sure you account for fingers of different size and shape, as well as different levels of pressure. A button that is 7 millimeters in diameter is usually sufficient, but you should aim for 10 millimeters. Below is a picture showing the button diameter in comparison to everyday objects:

The spacing between buttons is important as well. The ideal amount of space is 8 millimeters. An 8-millimeter gap will decrease the chance of a user clicking the incorrect button. Buttons that are located towards the top of the page are inconvenient and can lead to errors. The typical position for holding a mobile phone is with one hand at the base of the phone. This makes it difficult to reach the top of the screen comfortably. Reaching across the screen can also be problematic, your palm may accidentally touch part of the screen. So, make sure important buttons are located, or can eventually be located by scrolling, at the bottom of the screen.

Screen Size

On desktops, there is a lot of real estate available. Rather than attempting to fill it all up, then adjust it to fit your mobile version, start by designing for the smaller screen first. This will help you focus on what matters most. One way to keep the clutter to a minimum on a mobile device is using a drop-down navigation instead of a prominent menu bar.

Consistency

Demonstrate a consistent design across all devices. People prefer to use whichever device is most convenient at the time. No matter the device, your website should feel the same, with a few different characteristics depending on the device. This sets expectations and familiarity for future interactions. In the photo below, you can see that they are all related, with a few different attributes adjusted for the device.

Use Smartphone Specific Features

There are certain features the smartphone offers that other devices do not have. For example, users can call people when on a smartphone. To exploit this feature, use a “Tap to Call” button where one touch gives users a direct line to your company. Another feature is GPS. Use the GPS to offer location-specific information and services. 61% of smartphone users are more apt to buy from a site that tailors information to their location.

Load Time

Get rid of extra images and fancy fonts to lower the load time of your page. If your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, 40% of users will leave. For example, Walmart’s mobile site originally had a load time of 7.2 seconds. After removing JavaScript blocking, slow custom fonts, and unoptimized images, they were able to reduce their load time to 2.9 seconds, leading to a 2% increase in their conversion rate.

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Most smartphones do not include Adobe Flash Player, so veer away from using Flash. Secondly, if you want to attach a link in the middle of a paragraph, attach it to multiple words instead of one word. This will make the link easier for the user to click. Third, make sure to test your design on multiple unique smartphones. What works on one smartphone might look funky on another, so test your design on as many smartphones as possible.

With the world moving towards mobile devices, you do not want to be left behind. What you think works versus what works with real customers may be conflicting. To gain insight into the expectations of your potential customers, get help from experienced professionals. Visit Discida to explore our research options today.

Danielle Heiken contributed to this article.

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Also published on Medium.

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