Published on March 8th,2013 at 4:23 PM
By >Akihabaranews Contributor

6 Mobile Design Pitfalls that Ruin the User Experience

Having a mobile-optimized website is a must today – visitors will simply bounce upon landing on a site that looks wonky from their smartphones. There are a few major design musts and a few mishaps to be avoided at all costs when it comes to mobile design. Follow a few basic rules, and you can avoid messy mistakes that make your mobile site difficult to use. Here’s a look at a few design pitfalls that ruin the user experience.

 

Too Much Text

6 Mobile Design Pitfalls that Ruin the User Experience

Image via Flickr by Ryerson University Library

Let’s face it – mobile users want the information they’re looking for, quickly and painlessly. They don’t want to read five pages of dense copy to find what they need. The more copy a mobile site has, the more confusing it looks to users. Keep it clean and simple, and make the essential information stand out.

 

Using Pop-Ups

6 Mobile Design Pitfalls that Ruin the User Experience

Image via Flickr by dpstyles

Users hate pop-ups on desktops. But on smartphones and tablets, they absolutely despise pop-ups. These dreaded, in-your-face annoyances not only tarnish your credibility, but they cause all kinds of problems for users, such as opening a new browser or losing the original site altogether – not to mention the added bandwidth usage.

 

Too Many Elements Too Close Together

6 Mobile Design Pitfalls that Ruin the User Experience

Image via Flickr by @NonprofitOrgs

It’s true that smartphone, tablet and ultrabook screens are small – sometimes impossibly small, and that makes designing for mobile a challenge. The rise of Android tablets is easing this burden somewhat, but it’s still critical to avoid cramming too many page elements together. Users get frustrated when they push the wrong button simply because it’s jammed up against another button.

 

Losing the Call to Action

6 Mobile Design Pitfalls that Ruin the User Experience

Image via Flickr by edkohler

One of the most important elements of any website is the call to action. Because screen space on a mobile site is so limited, it’s easy to let your CTA fall below the fold. Make this mistake, and your conversion rates will sink.

 

Ignoring the Need for Flash

6 Mobile Design Pitfalls that Ruin the User Experience

Image via Flickr by rayweitzenberg

Some mobile operating systems don’t support Flash, so using it is a surefire way to lose users. It can also cause browsers to crash, and your videos may not parse properly anyway. If you want to keep your visitors, give them something they can actually view. Even if the user’s browser supports Flash, it takes longer to load – remember, mobile users are generally not patient.

 

Disregarding Context

6 Mobile Design Pitfalls that Ruin the User Experience

Image via Flickr by Rob Enslin

Mobile website design is all about the user experience, and mobile users are often in different environments than they are when visiting standard websites from the comfort of an office chair. When you’re designing a mobile site or app, think about the likely situations your users will be in when they stumble across your site. Focus on including the elements that will make using your site most convenient in this context.

Mobile websites are essential for success on the web today. More users are adopting mobile devices, and many of those users are using those devices to browse the web more often than they use their desktops and laptops. If you’re making any of these common mobile design faux pas, it’s time to revisit your design.

 

Sources:

http://mashable.com/2012/04/11/mobile-app-design-tips/

http://www.webdesignerdepot.com/2012/02/common-mobile-web-design-mistakes/

http://thedeependdesign.com/mobile-website-design-mistakes/

http://familyinternet.about.com/u/ua/introtofamilycomputing/limit_computer_time_ua.htm

http://www.blogelina.com/2013/01/the-five-donts-of-mobile-website-design/

 

Via AkihabaraNews Guest Contributor:

Shaun Chatman is a well published author on many authority sites. He lives in Dunedin, FL, and spends his free time playing with his kids or his collection of gadgets.

Category Web Development
              
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Comments
 

  • http://www.thedeets.com Ed Kohler

    You raise some good points, but I find the one based on the image of mine you used a bit out of context. People visiting a mobile real estate site / app are there to look at properties or contact someone. The screenshot you show provides both of those options.

  • Anonymous

    I find it ironic that an article about implementing proper mobile design is, itself, not on a mobile friendly website. Reading this on my iPhone was very difficult.

  • Anonymous

    Reading this on a STANDARD web site was difficult. Talk about elements crowded too close together…

  • Shaun Chatman

    Thank you for all the shares, guys. @bc82b1bf35d78817fec281026acabe0a:disqus , while I agree that the page may have caused some problems on an iPhone, I had no problem with it on a Galaxy Tab.

  • http://guideme.blogspot.com/ Mike Frett

    More sites are disregarding the mobile site and optimizing the main site for mobile. This completely ruins the Desktop experience by having oversized text and graphics. Makes it very difficult to navagate, please stop that nonsense.

    • andyrwebman

      Spot on. I still find myself switching back to the classic site on my kindle fire a lot of the time, because the mobile sites are crap for navigation – they seem to depend completely on back, forward, back, forward.
      Ebay mobile is particularly rubbish on mobile – small uninformative bits of data. But at least I get a choice.

      It seems such a shame to try and cram the PC “Rolls Royce on a racing track” experience down the mobile “cycle path” experience.

 

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