What Makes a Mobile Experience Perfect?

Users demand mobile websites to be fast, organized, and easy to understand. If your website doesn't measure up, visitors become strangers, not customers.

What do Apple and Tesco have in common?

Other than being multi-billion dollar companies, they both do an excellent job at grabbing user attention, and maintaining visitor satisfaction. Their websites on mobile are organized, legible, fast, and specific. They want you to feel comfortable and relaxed, so you engage with their business.

The vertical layout of smartphones turned everything we knew about UI/UX on its head. Mobile interactions had to become much more streamlined to compensate for the smaller and different screen size

Smartphone and tablet browsing has been gaining popularity since it’s so convenient. Why would you want to shop from your PC when you can do it during your morning commute? Phones are also more affordable than PCs or even laptops.

Fun fact: As of 2021, there are 4.32 billion active mobile internet users worldwide! And the majority of them use their mobiles to connect.

What do we mean by mobile experience?

Mobile experience refers to the version of a website that is native to smartphone screens, both in design and content. As smartphones became a must-have item, businesses realized they should adapt. Suddenly every business wanted their desktop websites transformed to fit smaller screen sizes, which is referred to as “responsive design”. 

We have been developing and designing for mobile ever since the demand emerged, nearly 7 years ago. Safe to say, we know how to do it pretty well!

Perfect mobile experience is all about ideal sizing

We all know how frustrating it is when a website loads on our phone, and it’s just a scaled version of the desktop site. So you zoom, swipe, scroll, and fight for your life to press the buttons you actually want to press (if you didn’t close the website immediately).

A good mobile experience is about sizing, because it’s not sufficient to throw different sections and their content below each other to fit on a smartphone screen. Making an enjoyable mobile page is a constant battle with the lack of space. 

A mobile experience becomes enjoyable if the typography, the images, layouts are truly thought out and optimized for that screen size. Elements need to stay proportional, sections need spacing, and content need to be comfortable to read.

For example: good ecommerce websites have products that you can swipe from left to right. This saves a lot of space, without causing frustration!

A premium feeling for premium businesses

What makes a mobile experience feel satisfactory, or look attractive? Users enjoy browsing on mobile if the page resembles a mobile app more than a simple website.

This can be achieved via animations, smart navigational elements, and more native functions which make the user feel they are using a mobile app – and not a mobile optimized website.

The navigation and logical hierarchy of a website becomes especially important, because there is no space to display every sub-menu or category. A 15 word long navigation is awkward on desktop to begin with, but it is an absolute mess to try to translate to mobile, if there is no clear structure to follow.  

UI/UX design is super important, because not only will the website look pretty, it minimizes frustrations, therefore allowing for more conversions.

A few years ago a trend emerged, by the name of PWA or Progressive Web Apps. They basically act as applications from the user side, when in reality they are websites, further blurring the line between mobile apps and mobile pages. 

Doing everything a website should do

With all this said, a mobile experience still needs to serve all the purposes a website does. It has to be optimized so it loads the absolute best. 

It has to be searchable, and bring the same graphic design feel as your desktop website does. This is where experienced designers need to make smart decisions, because visual elements may not work for both. For example, if you run a store with horizontally wide images they may look stylish on desktop, but translate awkwardly to mobile. Resolutions and proportions are also really important, both visually and in terms of performance, so we watch out for that. 

Developers at Proof test pages for desktop, tablet and mobile views as well, for multiple supported resolutions. They document their work via images and videos, ensuring that the website looks great on all screen sizes.   

What does a mobile experience mean for your business?

The optimal development solution depends entirely on your business model, and your target audience’s browsing habits.

If it is critical for your business to have a fluid, enjoyable mobile browsing experience, and that’s what makes the conversions happen, by all means you should seek a really advanced solution. 

If your users primarily browse from desktops, you can probably rest easy with a simpler, but still optimized mobile view. We know that users get frustrated when the website doesn’t load, or loads poorly. However, your average user won’t get angry if your website is a little long, or the font a little small.

At Proof we price for somewhere between these two options, you will get a really nicely optimized mobile experience. It’s a great effort to make a website feel like a mobile app, but that’s what we aim for, while maintaining sensible costs.

Mobile first development – and when it’s effective

The mobile first development approach is pretty self explanatory, instead of dealing with the desktop views first, the process starts from the smallest screen, mobile. It is tough to make a great mobile experience, but once it is done, the tablet and desktop views are a little easier

This puts a lot of emphasis on the satisfactory experience of mobile users, and it’s especially important for B2C companies, whose customer base primarily uses smartphones. Mobile first development is especially good for companies that integrate social media channels into their sales funnel. 

We had a partner with a fashion ecommerce store, primarily targeting women who would browse Instagram looking for purses and handbags during work. The mobile experience was incredibly important and a super successful conversion point for this client.

While we are glad to work mobile first, it does not usually translate well to our partners. Even if the mobile website to look amazing, it just doesn’t provide the same sense of business as desktop layout usually do. Web browsing is second nature to us, and we can grasp the style of a website much better, if we see how all the browser real estate is used. This is the reason why we usually start by showing the desktop layouts, and then the mobile to match.

What is the future of mobile development?

The importance of smartphone browsing is growing. Within B2C and ecommerce we predict that there will come a point when almost all traffic will come from mobile devices. This may be via browsers, or super accessible mobile apps.

For B2B we don’t see the same thing happening. You simply don’t look for strategic partners while taking the bus home. Desktop websites and apps will not disappear, they have cemented their place in the business world

Whether you’re looking for a professional response B2B website, or a mobile first B2C conversion machine, we’re glad to discuss your ideas, get in touch!