Are these Assumptions Ruining Your Design?

Defining the strategy, identifying goals and understanding your target audience is the first part of designing mobile experiences. Remembering that you are building an experience for a person, and not a tool for a device, needs to be at the core of your design process. But even when your users are at the center of your design, you can make assumptions that weaken your approach.

  1. Mobile always means moving.
    Mobile design user scenarios often involve some harried user rushing to flag a taxi, wandering through an airport, or location checking from a car. Yes, these are possible scenarios requiring designs ready for interruptions and micro-tasking, but plenty of people use mobile devices sitting in a quiet room too. Design with context in mind and consider real usage scenarios for your audience and look beyond the mobile stereotype.
  2. Mobile users don’t need the full (desktop) site.
    Users who can’t find what they need on a mobile site or in an app will go to the full site if they need to. Always include a link to get there. And if there is high click activity on that link, it’s a sign that you aren’t providing what users need in your mobile experience. Retest and re-evaluate your design.
  3. Mobile must ruthlessly cut features and exclude content.
    Yes and no. Streamline and focus on what matters but not to the point of impacting the user’s experience. Identify what the value of your content or service is and consider how its delivery can be enhanced using the device’s capabilities. Your business can be accessed everywhere—so how can you use mobile to make your offering stronger?
  4. Trying to design individual solutions for every device.
    You can’t keep up with the endless screen sizes, resolutions, and variances in capabilities and design unique solutions for every device. With responsive web design, the presentation responds to the display environment and user’s behavior. This is done using flexible layouts, grids, images, and media queries which recreate the page based on the user’s preference. If you are designing just for a specific platform, make the most of it and play to the strengths of the device.
  5. People won’t do “that” on a mobile device.
    If it’s convenient or the only option people will make it happen on mobile. Understand your users and their goals so you can build mobile solutions that connect with the world around them.



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