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Understanding Mobile Behavior

Understanding mobile behavior is a key aspect for marketing, web design and app design. With the sheer multitude of users out there we are blessed with a dearth of information on how people interact with their devices, apps and websites. The key is taking that information, processing it and getting useful data from it than you can learn from.

Knowledge is truly only useful if you can process it and then act on it in a way that is beneficial, such as improving the overall user experience on a website. That is our focus today, looking at mobile behavior and using that data to plan our future projects.

4 Key Aspects of Mobile Behavior

  • Nobody Likes to Type – While teens, tweens and young adults have mastered typing on a small screen, the majority of consumers try and avoid it due to screen size. This applies to filling out forms, answer questions and typing in usernames and passwords. One reason Facebook is so popular is the ability to log into other things using that one login. Making sure your website offers that feature, or the use of other social networks, is a great way to help prevent people from bouncing simply because they are too lazy to remember, or don’t want to type, their username and password. Another thing to consider when designing is, “Do I need this information at the mobile level?” and, “How easy will this be for a user to enter?” Placement of labels, dropdown boxes, field length and the like are all critical for the user experience not only to eliminate frustration but also reduce user errors.
  • Videos are Hot – Mobile users, both phone and tablet, really enjoy watching videos. Therefore adding video to a website is a great idea. There are a great number of ways to do this such as information videos, videos that tell the history of a company, or providing useful FAQs via video. By offering value in a comfortable format you not only increase your brand strength but also can help increase conversions and sales.
  • Content Length – Mobile is the key word of the ‘mobile user’ category. People are using devices when they are out and about, on the go, etc. Because of this we need to consider mobile users as being constantly open to other stimuli that can capture their attention. That means long articles are doomed to failure while content that can be absorbed in 5 to 7 minutes are ideal. Yes, a great article can be as long as it needs to be, but let’s face facts; not all articles are great. There is also the consideration to the time users stay on a page which Google tracks and relates to usefulness of content. So, along with monitoring length, adding endless scrolling is one technique to use in design along with paginated sections to help not only users but also web crawlers digest information.
  • Shopping is Growing – More and more people are shopping from their tablets and smartphones. Things like event tickets, food, coffee and gift cards are common purchases and the list is growing. To take advantage of this you need to focus on are cart streamlining. The navigation must be simple, there must be common, trustworthy payment options and you need limited screens to jump through from start to finish. Guest checkout should be a common default option and shipping address should default to invoice address because both are the most common aspects of purchase. Skip optional fields and other items that slow down or bog down the process. Why? Because people will get frustrated easily and bounce if everything is not quick and simple. People want to feel secure and not have to spend an hour staring at that small screen for a purchase so make it easy and make them happy.

The bottom line is that catering to the mobile user is a must. With the amount of data out there, understanding mobile behavior is much easier which means the next step is translating that knowledge to a better user experience which in returns equals a better bottom line.

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