Mobile user experience has become a very important component of usability in recent years and great progress has been made in this area in terms of accessibility, usability and functionality. Not all sectors or businesses have embraced the opportunity with the same enthusiasm but those that have, have shown themselves open to innovation and development.
Despite this the user issues with the mobile interface remain pretty much unchanged.
- Screen size and legibility – no surprises here. Despite the advent of larger mobiles with much more legible screens this is still a major problem for a big chunk of users.
- Problems with inputting on a small device – this is a problem especially for the less dextrous or those with bigger fingers!
- Lack of adaptation of websites to smaller formats making them difficult to follow and restricting usability..
More people are using their mobile to access websites on the move now and this is especially true when it comes to shopping and making decisions about purchases using online information, product comparisons and so on. There are some fairly obvious clues in this as to what businesses should be considering for their mobile sites.
Here are a few examples of what you might consider for inclusion high on your priority list and with easy access via a smartphone, together with the rationale and benefits:
- Store locators: a very high percentage of users will look on their phones for store locations. If you haven’t got a visible accessible link to yours within easy access you are missing chances to build footfall. Even better if you can have a ‘nearest store to me’ feature driven by postcode or perhaps even GPS.
- A store stock check for products would be a massive benefit to users, letting them know where and when the product they want is in store and saving wasted journeys, frustration and potentially lost business or damaged reputation for your company.
- Upfront access to product lists so the user can easily find out if you have the product they are looking for (and even suggesting alternatives if you don’t); this might even help in gaining an advantage over competitors if their stores are further away or they are less helpful to their online users.
- Opening times is another useful feature to have accessible; it is very frustrating for consumers to turn up at a store only to find it has just closed. Special opening times such as Black Friday, Xmas or other holidays can be highlighted here also.
- Incorporating voice activated instructions and information can greatly increase the usability of your site on smartphones and enhance the user experience. A chatbot that provides an ongoing conversation and narrative to your users would be an even better solution.
- Alternative navigation solutions such as ‘hamburger’ menus or using gestures to move around the site can be helpful in the small-screen environment.
- Visually separate functional areas by use of colour, shading, contrast to help the user identify where they are, what options are available and how to move around comfortably.
If you are interested in making your mobile site more user friendly for this important platform why not give us a ring on +44(0)800 024624 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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