According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2019, 96% of Americans owned a cellphone of some kind, and approximately half of U.S. adults own tablet computers or e-reader devices. Marketers have long known that they must account for mobile in their campaigns. A report in February 2020 from the CMO Survey found that the percentage marketers put into their mobile budgets has grown to 13.5%, up from 11.2% a year ago.
The mobile experience, however, must keep the user in mind. A savvy designer remembers this when creating a mobile app, as the mobile experience differs from that of other channels. It aims to be simpler, easier to use, and more intuitive.
This calls for a mobile design that incorporates these five best practices:
A mobile app can’t be complicated or too hard to use. If it is, a user will just quickly move on to another app. This means making the navigation as simple and easy to understand as possible. A designer can achieve this by:
Personalization should direct users to the content they’re most interested in. It helps streamline the experience to only what is useful to the user and keeps messaging and design consistent. Smart brands reduce options so they won’t clutter the experience. Giving a user too much information overcomplicates the design and navigation of an app. Experienced brands keep things simple and personalize the content.
Users don’t want to wait for the content and information they need. Apps need to be fast and responsive avoiding long page load times and bad user experiences. If users have to wait too long, they might abandon the app to get what they want quicker somewhere else.
Keeping in touch with users is important, as is getting users to return the app again and again. Push notifications help in share updates on the app and news users might need. However, be careful not to bombard users with too many push notifications. When a user receives too many push notifications in a short time frame they may consider disabling them. Remember quality is more important than quantity. Leverage push notifications only when the content is relevant and timely.
Whether it’s an email, app, or website that's being optimized for mobile, smart designers check to see how it looks for themselves. Because it looks different on a smaller screen than on a desktop, mobile design calls for tighter, more concise copy, broken up into small, easier-to-read chunks. A good designer uses white space to draw attention to the most important features, content, and elements of a design. White space also helps to make everything more readable.