Top Five Mobile (Design) Myths Busted Right Here!

Author: Vidhi Malik | Categories: Design & Ux, Mobile, Customer Experience, Customer Engagement

As per statistics, in 2017, the number of mobile users worldwide surpassed 4.77 billion! This is approximately 62.9% of total world population. By 2019, expect another 1.2 billion users to be added to this count. So, what is everyone using their mobile devices for?

As per a recent Google research, 51.4% of search queries are received from mobile devices. This clearly means that we are using these devices a lot to look for information such as directions while traveling, best deals on the latest gadget-launches, and even booking tables at our favorite eateries. Whether it is the mobile website or the handy apps – we simply can’t do without our mobile device anymore.

And, this is possible due to the enjoyable mobile experiences – all thanks to the amazing mobile designs. While designers are coming up with designs, each better than the previous ones, they are, more often than not, victims of technology myths. These myths do nothing to the designer or the designs but definitely mar the experience for the users.

Compiled here for you are the top five mobile myths that put a dent on the user experience and therefore should be avoided at all cost. While you are designing your next mobile website, beware of these myths!

Myth: Mobile users are always in hurry

Most of the time, mobile apps are created for the always-in-a-hurry users. Designers who hold the assumption that the user

  • is always in a hurry

  • is easily distracted

  • never thinks enough

  • will not have time for this

will never be able to make the ‘connect’ with the users via their designs. Sure, there can be times when these assumptions may be relevant; however, at times when you are travelling to work or on a break from work, such assumptions will only reflect poorly on your designs.

Reality: Google’s annual survey of mobile users reveals that 60% of app usage happens at the users’ homes. Google’s definition for “away” is when a user is using mobile phone during office, or on the go, which counts to 40%.

Mobile Myths
Image source: Think With Google

Clearly, the above graphic shows that there is a sizeable number of app users who may not particularly be in a rush, and therefore would use your app differently. If your designs do not cater to this audience, you’ve lost some brownie points.

Tip: While designing a mobile app, evaluate ‘how and when’ your app will be used. This can provide you the insights to create the right experience for them.

Myth: Mobile users easily distracted

It’s true that the attention span for human beings is decreasing; it is perhaps shorter than that of a goldfish’s. However, when it comes to the focus and attention users give to mobile apps, this statistic may no longer be relevant.

Reality: We’ve seen that mobile apps are used more at homes than in the workplaces. And, since homes are generally associated with low (or no) distraction, your apps should be built with this understanding. Google’s survey of US mobile use revealed that users are often using more than one device at a time. In fact, 77% of people were reported to be using a computing device while watching television.

mobile designs
Src: uxmag.com/articles/six-mobile-myths

Ironically, smartphone users are found to be paying more attention while they were interacting with the device.

Tip: Our app practices should involve attempts to preserve user engagement on the application/website. They should be easily comprehensive, learn-able and intelligent enough to allow users to play with them.

Myth: Mobile websites require fewer features

If you recall how people used the internet couple years ago, you’d remember how the experience was greatly different from what it is now. The overall digital look and feel, specific searches, immediate decisions with no intention to explore or purchase – indeed, a lot has changed since then. At that time, data connections were slow and expensive, and it was justified enough for designers to cut down the features from the mobile websites.

Reality: According to Pew Internet, visitors expect a seamless experience across devices. They want the exact experience irrespective of the device – mobile, laptop, or desktop. What they care for more is engagement; if they are interested in exploring the website further, they may use another device later on. However, when they are on a site, they expect to be able to get completely engaged, right there. Anything less will only add up to the visitors’ frustrations.

Tip: Designers should focus on prioritizing and maximizing the mobile capabilities. Once you have this in place, your users would surely find it exciting to engage with your designs.

Simplicity is good, complexity is bad

Well, not always! The winning idea for designers is to display the ‘complex’ in an ‘uncomplicated’ way. It’s important to optimize and balance the design between a desktop and a mobile. It can be challenging to accumulate stacks of information and product features in a 320px screen size.

mobile commerce
Source: google.com

So, rather than using filters and keeping things minimal, it would be a better idea to:

  • De-clutter the screen by displaying one idea at a time

  • Place content appropriately under the labeled design element

  • Provide more tabs and keep the screen clean, clear and easily digestible

  • Engage users with appropriate call to action (CTA) ¬– respective to each section

Remember, the intent of the users browsing your website or wanting to engage with your brand doesn’t change as per the device they are using.

Myth: Mobile apps are better than mobile websites

This is an ongoing debate and the preference lies in ‘to each his own’. Many designers believe that native mobile apps are better in terms of delivering an optimal user experience. Those that believe this, typically, count speed and supported features as superior to mobile websites (Hybrid apps).

Reality: Relevant stats indicate that mobile commerce traffic drives 50% of total e-commerce traffic in many countries. The truth about mobile applications is that they use 90% of all mobile uptime, which is more than the entire browser-based internet as a whole. Although this vividly highlights the preference of most users, the ease of using a mobile website cannot be undermined.

Tip: Users make purchases on mobile devices, it’s important to make the website and application – both – scalable and user friendly.

Are there any other myths that you’ve come across yourself or experienced something unpleasant due to a mobile myth? Don’t miss to share it with us.