Every mobile website needs to consider mobile user experience design. Below are 10 key things to keep in mind, which should all be considered when developing for mobile.

Listen to the best
Being the unchallenged leaders of the consumer mobile, both Google and Apple have regularly maintained documentation for UX best practice. This is hands down, the best starting point for any designer. Although these guidelines could be seen to stifle creativity, it’s always best to find a happy medium thats consistent with these suggestions.

Reuse where possible
One of the key pillars of user experience best practices is consistency. It is always recommended to keep a consistent library of designed UX assets across all screens, devices and resolutions. With a mobile first approach to UX, it’s harder to ignore this rule, than disregard it.

Scope for the future
If the approach is to get a release as early as possible, it’s easy to focus on only the most vital features. The issue with this approach is that it could make it impossible for developers to truly build scope. Always try to design for the most complex first.

Focus on the real
It’s beneficial to use real users and test if a design actually works. You can make design decisions based on fact rather than preference, and reduce the chance of confusion when articulating features to developers. Real user data is also more powerful when being challenged by the subjective taste of a client.

Design for the fickle
Mobile users are always at risk of losing engagement and being distracted by external variables. Ideally, try to make the interface easy to pick up from where they left off. Break big tasks and forms down, and make EVERYTHING simple.

Feedback where possible
Rollovers, hover states and animations are what bring websites to life. Add support for some touch gestures, and subtle movements of iconography to draw the user’s eye. A static webpage, mobile or desktop, won’t be as engaging as something thats a bit more dynamic.

Forget the carousel!
Every time a carousel changes, the impact of the previous slide is immediately lost. Google data suggests less than 1% of mobile users actually engage with carousel navigation. Don’t hide key content behind a slider, stack it and the user will do the more natural vertical scroll.

Less is more
The mobile experience doesn’t have to be a replication of desktop. Reduce certain features and content to accommodate the users device and screen size. A product configurator to shopping basket journey could be cut down to a simple ‘quick add’ process instead.

Text alignment
Centered text content isn’t always bad, however it’s key to know when not to implement. When there is lots of content, keep it to the left. If readability is a key goal of the website (it should be!), then center align small text blocks only. Full page article content is almost always best being “left to the left”.

Remember the gubbins!
Although not strictly not a just UX consideration, ensuring any website has up to an date SSL certificate, fast loading speeds and a lightweight SVG spritesheet will always guarantees a better user experience. Security warnings and unnecessarily large then scaled down imagery will put the barriers up, stopping users getting to key content.

“Beautiful page design amounts to nothing unless you use it to construct a mobile experience that achieves the balance of brand 'musts' and customer 'needs' in its purist form.”

Stew, Head of Design, TJ

This article is part of a ‘mobile-first’ mini-series, read on below:
Building for mobile.
The importance of mobile navigation.

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