6 Ways in which Mobile Behavior is Changing Website Design

Posted on Posted in UI/UX

Mobile responsive sites have settled as a norm and by now you must have decided to go on full throttle on your mobile strategy. Google has already introduced the mobile-first strategy which would consider the mobile ranking of the page as final. Statistics say that mobile users are on the rise like never before and has already superseded the desktop users. With all this in the fray, you must be thinking of formulating new engagement strategies for your audience accessing your site on the mobile phones. You are not wrong as it is the ripe time to do so.

Before we go ahead and tweak our designs for the mobile sites and alter the website designs, let’s at least understand the qualitative difference between the mobile users’ behavior in contrast to the behavior on the desktop. The question that arises, is there really a difference in the way the users browse sites and the internet on phones versus desktops. Is there a difference in their mindset? Is there are a difference in the usage pattern? Well, there are lots of differences.

Research studies have unearthed many revealing facts about the mobile users. The mobile users’ engagement increases at specific times of the day. The peak activity on the mobile phones seems to happen during 6 AM to 9 AM in the morning, and 6 PM to 11 PM in the evening. The desktop users perform most of their online activities during the working hours. Not only are there time differences, the users’ activities also are markedly different as well.

Just ask yourself when you reach for your mobile phone to browse the internet. It may be mostly with a specific intent and when you are looking for particular information or hunting for something essential. The users tend to use the mobile phones when they are in a hurry, and idle browsing or any other time-consuming activities, or digging of information is usually done on their PCs. This makes them scan information rather than going into the details and digesting each part of the content. The attention span for the mobile users are really lesser, and research has unearthed that desktop visitors stay three times longer on the websites on an average than the visitors on mobile phones. This is the reason they would look for a smoother browsing experience that helps them to get the information they are looking for or that which helps them to conduct the activity they want to perform.

Research has also proved the fact that the mobile traffic can show more involvement and engagement which increases with the ease of use. It is perhaps now clear that the motivation and the mindset driving the mobile users are markedly different from the desktop users. By that, we mean that the motive of the mobile browser is more utilitarian with users looking for ways to do things more efficiently and effectively. The researches conducted on the mobile users’ behavior has revealed that unlike the desktop users, the mobile users often have a single page open and they rarely go idle. The desktop users, on the other hand, keep too many tabs open and often return to the site time and again.

Now that we have described the qualitative difference of browsing between the mobile phone users and the desktop users, are the design elements also changing in tandem! Are there any procedures or tactics that are followed by the designers that you ought to follow, and without it, your site may be rejected by the mobile users because of the difficulty of use. Yes, certainly there are a few techniques in the design elements that would make your site more mobile friendly and would increase engagement and your conversion rate as well. Let’s discuss those now.

Lesser Load Times Ensure Higher Engagement

Most mobile customers have a limited data plan and due to the reason of urgency of the mobile phone users the size of the site should ideally be less. This would ensure that the site loads faster and engages the users more than that of the competitors’ sites. In any case, if the site takes more than 10 seconds to load, it’s quite unlikely that it will achieve its marketing targets and goals.

Simpler Designs Grab Attention

As we have already noted that the attention span of the mobile users is low, the expectations of customers about their experience are naturally very high. The less engaged and satisfied a user is, it is very unlikely that he will stick around your site for long. Simple websites without the flashy outlook and straight and to the point content clearly stating the objectives would be more accepted by the users.

Accessibility With The Users’ Thumb

Ease of accessibility not only makes a lot of difference in the engagement levels but in the conversion rates too. In this context, the accessibility of the CTA buttons with the thumb makes a great difference. This is often referred to as the ‘thumb Zone.’ The CTAs and the important parts of the websites could be clicked and viewed more easily and should be accessible by the thumb. The website’s navigation items and the CTAs should ideally be placed at the bottom so that it can be accessed by the thumb. This not only makes it easier to click but grabs more attention of the users as well.

Progressive Loading and Skeleton Screens

As the mobile users are in haste, the progressive loading and skeleton screens have gained immense popularity. Application of progressive loading and skeleton screens prevent the users from losing interest and moving on to the other pages as progressive loading makes the information visible as it gets loaded rather than displaying all at once. When each element of the page loads, the users see a skeleton of the website which is the wireframe of the page which makes them feel that loading is in progress, making them browse and wait as well.

Usage of Emojis

Emojis are now often used and are gradually replacing the usage of words. The use of emojis by the marketers in the mobile responsive sites lets them take lesser space and express more with a bit of humor as well.

Easy Accessibility Of Contact Info

As most of the mobile users are on the lookout for information your contact address and the phone number should be not only visible but clickable as well. If the phone number is clickable, there is a great probability that the users might call you directly from their mobile phones. Keeping the contact address visible will undoubtedly increase the footfalls on your physical shop if you have a physical store.

With all that being said, it is well understood that mobile optimization and experience of users on mobile is no more an option but a necessity or an absolute must. With more mobile searches being completed on mobile devices than the desktops and Google introducing the mobile-first indexing, you have to be more mobile-oriented if you have to increase engagement, draw more traffic, and surge footfalls to your physical store or your local business. Mobile optimization has evolved to be the most plausible way to organically drive your digital marketing metrics like the lead conversion, CTR, shares and all the factors that help SEO. In such a state, mobile optimization is the only imperative to stay ahead in the competition. The earlier you do it, the better it is!