Mobile applications are important for providing users with an alternate means of accessing your web page, as well as keeping connected anywhere and at any time. The programs are an integral part of staying competitive within your market, so they should be created wisely.
A number of potential pitfalls await, and this article will acquaint you with the top mistakes to avoid that may impact your mobile usability.
1. Thinking of the Mobile as a Mini Computer
Viewing mobile devices as tiny computers is a major simplification, so the idea that content can simply be shrunk to size is a very dangerous one.
Mobile applications often require major design overhauls. Fonts and colors may need to be readjusted for legibility; contrasts and resolutions may need to be sharpened; complicated design features may need to be dropped or dramatically altered; and information may need to be shifted around so that the most important elements can be viewed together.
2. Not Understanding Your Audience
Although it may seem obvious, you’d be surprised by how many mobile applications seem out of touch with how they are being used in real life – this is to say in hurried, brief, or distracted scenarios.
Mobile usability is dependent on programs being built for “on the go” situations, such as during commutes, out with friends, or waiting before a meeting. Most users will still resort to their computers for large amounts of reading and research, so mobile applications should be fashioned accordingly: trimmed of excess information and filled with fast shortcuts that enable users to access their desired information as quickly as possible.
Extensive browsing and complicated searches are not what mobile devices are generally used for, so understanding your audience’s goal is an integral part of crafting your application. There’s no need to replicate exactly what your free website creator does on the net, so instead tailor your business website wisely for a new context.
3. Offering Too Much at Once
Because of the aforementioned visibility limitations – as well as the time limitations of your users – it’s imperative that mobile applications thoughtfully divide up their information so that each page is kept organized and easily navigable.
Carefully selecting the amount of options you offer is the first order of business. Prioritizing them within the web page design is another. Create homepage links that help to guide visitors through the application. These are helpful in that they allow users to skip ahead directly to the information that pertains to them, bypassing the rest of noise on the page.
Creating such divisions, and placing information in different, linked sections, will help you avoid the pitfalls of overwhelming your audience and causing usability confusion.
4. Failing to Make Choices
Editing is key not only in terms of mobile content, but also in terms of media features, such as photos, video, or a digital portfolio. It’s essential to be keep in mind the fact that applications can take longer to load on mobile devices than they do on regular computers, so choosing to keep things simple is often a major ingredient of success.
The last thing you want is for users to get bored with half-loaded images and end up going elsewhere. Similarly, bombarding them with text-heavy pages can be equally disastrous. Make them circle through too many links and they will get frustrated. In all these respects, the methodical selection of offerings is a must.
5. Being Unfamiliar with the Type of Device You’re Designing For
Remember that not all mobile devices work the same way. Designing a single application that you assume will be compatible with all types is a big mistake.
It’s vitally important to choose which type of device you are creating your application for and to research its functions – its plusses and its drawbacks – to figure out how best to present information and optimize your site for this specific mobile device.
Should you choose to design programs for more than one type, be prepared to make changes and adjustments depending on the differences between devices.
6. Not Testing it Out First
Finally, creating prototypes and running test groups are essential steps in ensuring successful mobile usability.
It would be silly to do the groundwork, but then skip over the last stage. Get feedback from focus groups and make adjustments to your application as you go along. Once your program is available, it will be much harder to back-track, so make sure that you won’t have to!
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