Web Vs Mobile User Experience: Designing With Intent

Mobile-User-Experience

User experience is everything these days. Customers respond more strongly to better buying experiences than lower prices, and a bad experience will send them to a competitor faster than a higher price.

User experience is especially important when designing user interfaces.

In the rush to create a mobile presence, though, some companies push responsive website options that translate into awkward mobile interfaces.

Others choose overly simple websites that read well on mobile but don’t provide the features users want.

Designing for web and mobile are two entirely different processes.

The best results can be realized by focusing on why consumers use each platform.

Centering User Experience

User experience is more than window dressing. It’s fast becoming the biggest brand differentiator for customers flooded with similarly-priced offerings.

Making it the core design goal increases customer satisfaction, prevents churn, and boosts revenue.

That’s not hyperbole, either. A 2016 study found that designing an intuitive user interface can lead to a 200% rise in conversion rates.

Some sites have realized as much as a 400% increase by emphasizing user experience.

On the other hand, bad UX has a disproportionately large effect.

38% of web users leave a page within a minute if the design or layout isn’t appealing.

More than half of mobile users lose confidence in a company as a whole if the mobile experience is bad.

40% of all platform users abandon a page that takes more than three seconds to load.

Statistics like this suggest that while users do appreciate value, a pleasant and productive experience is now their main goal.

This year 84% of global companies will respond to this demand by increasing their focus on user experience.

Difference Tools for Different Purposes

Smartphones and other mobile devices have grown as powerful as computers once were.

Still, they’re used very differently than desktop and laptop computers.

Consumers often switch devices throughout the day based on their current intent.

Mobile device activity peaks in the morning and evening, when people are preparing for their day or unwinding from work.

It’s preferred for image or location-based social media platforms. When searching on mobile, users are highly focused.

They want quick answers to specific questions.

94% of smartphone owners use it to find local businesses, and 55% of mobile conversions happen within an hour.

There are some technical considerations when designing for mobile: smaller screens, variable signal, limited battery life, and the requirement that all interaction be done via touchscreen or voice.

The average user doesn’t make much allowance for these limitations, though.

They expect a high quality experience every time they open an app or a mobile page.

Mobile priorities:

  • Accuracy
  • Intuitive navigation
  • Availability
  • Speed
  • Location and mapping features

Desktops and laptops are used most often during the day (with an exception for late-night gaming).

Consumers like to take their time on the web, performing casual searches to satisfy their curiosity about a brand or simply browsing.

They have more patience for deep research and longer reads.

Social media sites lean towards the text based, and users might switch from their phone to post a lengthy rant or product review.

Taken as a whole, desktop site visits last three times longer than mobile hits.

Web doesn’t carry the same technical limitations as mobile.

Computer screens are as large as users want to make them, and there are fewer battery or connectivity concerns.

However, web has much higher expectations for quality and performance.

Potential customers want to see everything they could possibly want to know about a company on a website, and when they can’t find information they become frustrated.

Web priorities:

  • Intuitive navigation
  • Depth of information
  • Galleries and video
  • Current contact information
  • Fast response to customer service requests

Tailoring the UI

Speed and performance are important regardless of device. The first pageload is the primary chance to catch a user’s attention.

Keeping visitors on-site longer raises the chances of conversion, so aim for short load times and design which makes navigation simple.

Of course, this has to be done in different ways for web and mobile.

Mobile devices are usually held vertically, meaning the design needs to be narrow and read well when scrolling.

The landscape orientation of web offers more room for highlighting different features.

Now for the specifics:

Mobile

  • Follow device conventions for swiping and tapping to take advantage of what users already expect.
  • Be careful about embedded video and high-res images. They increase load times and can send the bounce rate skyrocketing when too many are used.
  • Make allowances for variable touchscreen input. Finger size and device precision can vary, so leave room for taps outside the target box and don’t crowd buttons close together.
  • Avoid cluttered rows of drop-down menus.
  • When presenting content, emphasize contrast. Users may be outside where sunlight makes viewing the screen difficult; clear lettering wins more points than exotic fonts. Designers can also use larger type and greater line height to provide more leeway when tapping links.
  • Prioritize the most-searched content near the top, where it’s easy to find.

Web

  • Dropdown menus are a favorite way to put more information on the front page without creating a cluttered look. When overused, though, they read as dated. Consider using a longer main page that appeals to browsers with a row of shortcuts to common features at the top.
  • Use large pictures and video to take advantage of the larger screen. Disable autoplay on inactive windows, though. Users tend to keep up to a dozen tabs open at once while browsing, and they often close out a tab which plays audio over the page they’re reading.
  • Use dynamic features, mixed fonts, and plenty of space to break up large text blocks.
  • Always, always, always provide easy-to-locate contact information. Three quarters of users list “lack of sufficient contact options” as their main complaint about enterprise websites. Consider using a chatbot to direct customer feedback to the right department.

A Final Note

User experience is highly subjective. Every company unique, and their customer base may respond differently than expected.

These guidelines are a good start, but there’s no real substitution for user testing and adjusting to customer feedback.

Mobile App Development Company in Orlando

Concepta, a renowned Orlando mobile developer, has seen major returns for clients who prioritize user experience.

When we worked with tourism service company Kingdom Strollers to create a new client portal, we made sure every client-facing feature was designed to be both intuitive and functional.

Since putting the new system into operation Kingdom Strollers has seen a 40% rise in revenue year over year.  

A developer’s success is measured by the success of their clients. That’s why Concepta focuses on powering the kind of top-notch user experience that gets our clients maximum results. Set up a complimentary consultation to explore how to boost your UX- and your revenue!

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How to Create the Ultimate UX Strategy

user-experience-guide

Once relegated to the back burner, user experience is poised to become the key brand differentiator by 2020.

It’s already a major point of competition. The ratio of improvement to gains differs by industry: Forrester found that increasing customer experience by just 1% could earn credit card companies $5 million more in annual revenue.

The same gain would net an auto manufacturer nearly $900 million.

To earn those gains, though, companies need to hone their UX strategy.

What is a UX Strategy?

Before starting, it’s necessary to understand what UX strategy is and isn’t.

It is not an action plan or to-do list. Some companies overthink their strategy, creating rigid step-by-step instructions with no room for collaboration. That’s a recipe for frustrated staff and lagging projects.

On the other hand, the strategy does need to provide enough structure for success. It isn’t a vague philosophy created in the design phase by one senior executive.

That type of direction may as well be background noise. It’s ignored by the development team or even wildly misinterpreted.

Good UX strategy starts before a project even reaches the design phase. Instead of a detailed checklist, the strategy provides guidance for the overall order of development.

It outlines the “Big Picture” context of the project as it relates to improving user experience. UX strategy should be created with input from all stakeholders. Only when everyone is engaged and on the same page will the strategy be something usable at all levels.

What does an effective UX strategy look like?

1. Outline Goals

Make sure the idea is fleshed out enough to research. Know what problem the software is intended to solve and what the company hopes to gain from the project, then outline parameters for success.

This is where some go overboard, so keep it general. For example:

The app will provide a way for agents to complete contracts in the field without needing to come to the office. It will eliminate resources wasted in travelling across town several times a day as well as increasing the accuracy and consistency of records.

Don’t forget to assign a priority to the project. If another software need arises, will this project be put on hold or does it take precedence? What kind of resources will be devoted to it?

2. Research

The more information available about the market and potential users, the better decisions designers can make about features and layouts. Gather as much input as possible, focusing on:

  • Who are the stakeholders? Include company leaders, investors, and engineers. Find out what problems they have with the current system and what they think would add value.
  • Who what do users want? This is a good time for focus groups, surveys, or examining existing feedback to find out what users want from the software.
  • Where does the software fit in the market? Identify what differentiates the product from similar products. Will it be more economical, have expanded features, or offer increased security?

3. Design

The design phase takes data collected during the first stages and translates it into an actual product. First, create the initial wireframes and prototypes. Map what the customer’s journey is expected to be, generating process diagrams to make it easy to understand at a glance.

After the stakeholders have signed off on the wireframes, build a workable version of the software.

This is an iterative process that’s closely entwined with the testing phase. As long as the overall goals are still being met, it’s okay to change features or adjust the process diagram in response to feedback during Alpha and Beta testing.

One caution: it’s become common for Beta versions of software to stay in use for extended periods of time. The theory is that it allows more user input to affect the final product, but it can backfire if the Beta version is heavily flawed or if it lingers so long that users lose interest.

Before moving forward, identify metrics for evaluating success. Usability metrics can include downloads, retention, task completion, or any other data that suggests how funcional users find the product.

4. Test

Release the software, either to a test group or to all target users depending on where it is in the design/test cycle. Track how well the software is performing with the usability metrics identified during the design phase.

Highlight issues and rank them by priority for future patches.

Have a specific timeline in mine for each phase of testing. Though it’s wise to leave some room for flexibility, a timeline removes the temptation to hold onto software until it’s “perfect”.

There will always be something else the software can do, but new features can be added in later updates. Don’t leave a product in beta forever.

5. Adjust

No product is perfect on first release, so plan for updates. Be flexible and open to change in response to user feedback. Collect all feedback (feature requests, activity logs, A/B testing data, support reports, etc.) and push it forward to use during adjustments.

Most importantly, don’t take feedback personally. It means the user is interested enough in the future of the product to want it to be better, and that’s a good sign.

The Ultimate UX Strategy

A grounded, responsive strategy gives software the best chance of scoring high on user experience. It can be applied to any project yet is clear enough to provide solid direction to the development team. Adopting a strategy like this will help every project reach its maximum UX potential.

 

User experience should be considered at every stage of development. Contact Concepta for a free assessment of how to maximize UX in your next software project by building for quality and performance.

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How Should Developers Measure User Experience?

ux metrics for developers

User experience is more important than ever.

By 2020, customer experience will pass brand and price as the most influential brand differentiator.

UX has a major role to play in creating a positive impression.

The downside is, user experience is incredibly subjective.

Finding meaningful metrics for evaluating UX is one of the biggest challenges facing developers today.

Fortunately, the increased emphasis on UX has generated some updated guidance.

Here are the user experience metrics developers should be tracking and the ones that aren’t as helpful as they seem.

Instead of Pageviews, Track Search Function Usage by Page

Pageviews are the average number of pages viewed by a single user in a single setting.

Traditional thinking held that the more pages a user looks at, the more excited they are.

In reality, a user who looks through a large number of pages may be frustrated and unable to find the information they need.

Pageviews are mainly helpful when they’re very low and conversions are also very low, which shows a lack of excitement.

Search function usage monitors which pages users navigate from using links and where they use the site search.

Ideally users should be able to navigate a site easily using links.

Outside of e-commerce sites, users won’t often resort to the search bar unless the feature they’re looking for isn’t obvious.

If a page has an unusually high search bar usage, it may be a good idea to reassess the design.

Instead of Average Time on Site, Track Engagement

Average time on site calculates how long a user spent on a site or in an app.

It’s misleading for a few reasons.

Like pageviews, it could reflect frustration or boredom.

Modern users also tend to keep several tabs open while doing something in another tab. This practice artificially inflates Time on Site.

Engagement measures how active the user is while they’re on a site.

It includes actions taken, visits per day or week, and linked social media accounts.

High engagement means users find the app functional on a daily level.

Besides increasing revenue through purchases and advertising, it drives new users since happily engaged customers act as brand ambassadors.

Read this blog post on how to keep mobile app users engaged for more tips.

Instead of Uptime, Track Retention

Uptime is the percentage of the time app or site is functioning and available to users.

While it is necessary for IT to monitor uptime to address technical issues in a timely manner, uptime reveals nothing about user experience.

The site being available doesn’t mean people are using it.

Retention tracks users who are still using the software after a specific time frame.

The common baseline for retention counts the number of users who return at least once within 30 days.

The average app loses 80% of its users within the first month, and the reason is often poor UX.

90% of users won’t return to an app if they have a bad first experience.

Most of these users won’t call support or submit help tickets; they just stop using the app.

Retention happens when users are generally satisfied and find that the app meets their needs.

That makes it a telling indication of user experience.

Instead of Revenue, Track Completion Rates

Revenue encompasses both earnings from in-app features and sales originating on an app or through a site.

It’s critical for accounting, but not the best measure of user happiness.

Good marketing and fads can drive revenue for short periods of time.

Eventually, though, poor UX will smother a trend early and discourage users from returning for future campaigns.

The “Completion Rate” tracks how often a user can successfully finish tasks. Tasks can be:

  • Register an account
  • Link a payment method
  • Make a purchase
  • Submit a help ticket
  • Share a product

Completion rate is simple, easy to measure, and directly assesses how well each particular feature is designed.

It’s a way to find a specific UX problem suggested in general terms by other metrics.

Building for and measuring UX is a complex process. Concepta’s experienced developers have a proven track record of creating attractive, easy to use apps and websites. Reach out for a free consultation on your next project! Request a Consultation