Everybody is using smartphones.
We’re talking big numbers. Nearly everyone in the US is using a smartphone or even a regular phone to access the Internet. People are browsing the Web and getting all kinds of information right on their phone.
There is a problem, though.
The smartphone browsing experience sucks.
It doesn’t matter if it’s apps or websites. The experience on mobile phones is a pain. Right now designers and website owners are playing catch up. As business owners and designers we’re creating websites for the desktop user.
Well that’s all changing. People are using a variety of devices to access the Internet and that means we’ll have to catch up with our designs.
It’s nobody’s fault. Don’t blame yourself. There is plenty of time to make something great and win over the smartphone crowd and it can all start by understanding the pet peeves of smartphone users.
1. “I want to scroll not click!”
People read a lot of articles on their phones. They could be waiting on the train on their way to work and reading the morning news. They could be sitting on the couch reading their list of blogs after dinner. Everybody reads on their smartphones.
A huge pain with articles is trying to scroll with the flick of your finger only to realize you’ve clicked on some obscure link on the page.
Be careful with links placement when designing for mobile devices. People don’t have their mouse anymore to control their scrolling. Fingers are big and bulky so make sure people can scroll without becoming frustrated by accidental clicks. This goes for buttons, text links, ads and any other kind of clickable item on the page.
2. “Where is the page I want!”
It’s super frustrating to get to the mobile version of a webpage and have no idea how to get to the page you want. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone right to the bottom of the browser page to click “full site”. I want certain things. Don’t make it difficult to find them with the mobile version.
This is where responsive design really does a good job. All the same elements remain on the page, but in a mobile-friendly way.
3. “I can’t read this text!”
People like to read. We covered this already, but it’s worth mentioning again that people like to read. Make sure they can read the text you put on the page. Smartphones are small. It’s hard to read really small text.
I’ve shown my phone to folks to show them something and they’ve just brushed it off. They know there is no way they can read what is on the screen.
And zooming? Forget about it. It’s difficult and awkward to zoom in on something. It never stays in place.
Make things big for mobile phone users. Eliminate the need to zoom on text.
4. “This won’t load. I’m going somewhere else.”
This is perhaps the worst. It’s been something of an issue for desktop computing also. People hate slow websites. They don’t wait around very long for something to load on the page. With people accessing websites on their phones it can be even more difficult to get the page to load. Access is getting better, but things can still be slow.
Make sure you have your designer strip down your website so only the essential items are available. You want the site to be lean and mean.
5. “Why is this moving side to side?”
I hate when pages are too wide for a smartphone. It’s a game of immense trickery to get the text to stay in frame. When things are too big it’s really easy to accidentally scroll from side to side on a phone. Eliminate this with something like responsive design.
These are just some of the frustrations people have with smartphones.
As a business owner make sure you and your designer figure out how to make your mobile experience the best it can be. More people are using mobile devices to access your website. It’s not all about the desktop experience anymore.
Image Credit: jenny downing