Improving the User Experience
“The number one experience on mobile is search and everything we do is search based …” – Greg Nudelman, UX Strategist
A strong sentiment indeed, and who are we to argue? Search lies at the heart of the mobile experience, with 56% of UK mobile searches resulting in a purchase. Businesses seeking a better user experience for their customers, need to recognise and reflect this.
Here are some of the methods by which your organisation can improve the search experience for your mobile users.
Be the customer
In the past, the temptation has been to think like the Googlebot (other search engines are available), when designing a website, and populating it with content. With mobile browsing primarily a search-based, on-the-fly affair, this approach shouldn’t come at the expense of user experience.
Become the customer, and understand how they search for your products. When delivering a better search experience, in-house slang, esoteric technical terms, and product acronyms have no place on your site.
New visitors to your website aren’t necessarily going to be web-savvy, old pros like yourself. Implement a strong architecture, so important information is readily available, or can be easily found throughout the website.
Showcase the search box
Okay, maybe not go all out with flashing lights and a marquee, but ensure the search box is there, easily identifiable, and working. In mobile, a site’s search box can be a lifeline for the customer, and the difference between a loss or a sale for you.
Localise search results
Google has found that 40% of mobile searches have local intent. By either harnessing the customer’s GPS info, or allowing them to enter brief details, such as a postcode, you can deliver location-relevant content, and results. With 17% of mobile searches made on-the-go, you might also consider highlighting regional promotions, with the aim of driving the mobile user to a physical store.
If time is of the essence, the mobile user won’t be enamoured with an endless list of search results. Allow filtering, so customers can refine their searches and discover what they are looking for quickly, and with the minimum of operations. As screen estate is at a premium, these filters can be included as expandable lists, providing a better mobile user experience all round.