There are times when we happen to land on a mobile app or a website that stands out in the best possible manner. Of course, there are some common traits that together lay the foundation of such designs and make its users feel comfortable. Establishing a mobile presence is not as easy as it seems, though it’s not a rocket science as well. The emergence of concepts like responsive design has further strengthened the importance of mobile sites and apps that include all the ingredients of a successful mobile design.
Usability is one of the most fundamental elements of a mobile design. If your design has a terrible usability, then it’s simply a dead loss. Whether your user is log in to your website, or in the final stages of completing a process, a good mobile usability can make your site feel right to the visitor. When we talk about mobile usability, we actually talk about things that people prefer to see on a website. You can obviously go extra miles, but basic components should be there to make them feel engaged.
In this post, we are going to discuss about some practical usability tips for designing a mobile site. The tips mentioned below are easy to follow and will surely help you augment the quality of your mobile site.
1. Encourage Natural Behavior
While testing the usability of a website, give your participants enough freedom to execute their natural side. Of course, they’ll feel a bit nervous thinking that someone is observing them, but it’s your responsibility to encourage their natural behavior for a successful outcome.
Also, start with open-ended tasks to know more about how they go on and off with your website. For example- if you are testing a car trading website, so in the first task, ask people to search for a car they want to buy within a specific budget. This strategy will give you an idea on how visitors actually use a website. Once, they are done, just leave the testing room and observe them remotely. While doing so, make sure you take down enough notes regarding what’s happening onscreen. Also, while taking notes it’s important to observe how people are actually going about it, observe their facial expressions, their body language to get a more comprehensive view of your design.
2. Let Them Get the Things Done How They Want
While testing, there are times when you see participants getting sidetracked, just be patient. Since, the aim is to learn how they interact with your website, make sure you invest enough mental efforts to achieve it.
For this, you need to ask them questions like- what made them go off the track? How much time it took them to navigate to a specific area? Which element they found confusing? And so on to gain better test insights.
3. Never Let Them Know About The Website You’re Testing
Designers often make this mistake and thus end up having ambiguous testing results. It is always recommended not to make it obvious to the person which website he/she is testing. The reason being- in most of the cases, it becomes quite difficult to get honest results, especially when the participant belongs to the same organization or is an agent. So, it’s good not to reveal the exact identity of the website you’re going to test.
4. Test Your Competitor’s Site As Well
Only testing your own site isn’t enough to be sure of your work, you need to test your competitor’s as well for a better assessment. When the participant is asked to evaluate your competitor’s site, their critical mindset can be encouraged. As an observer, it’s essential for you to keep yourself as casual and open-minded as possible. This will help you receive honest feedbacks from the participant.
Another trick is to ask participants to show their favorite website in terms of design, why they like it, and how they use it. This will help you know how users actually interact with a website. Using this knowledge, it becomes easier for you to modify your site as per their tastes and preferences.
5. Analyze the Task Success
Evaluating the success of each task the participant carries out is crucial for measure what works and what needs to be worked. Here, the success should be measure on the basis of how effortlessly a user can complete a given task, such as finding articles related to a specific top, browsing different products, creating accounts, and so on. It’s a great way to know how much intuitive and efficient your design is.
Please note: During the test, keep tasks as realistic and reasonable as possible. They should be based on how people actually use a system and perform a different set of activities.
Testing the usability of a mobile website is crucial to confirm your success in this digital age. A strategically conducted testing is a key to know where your designing skills stand and how much you know about your target audience. Having participants assessing your design means you’re likely to see the issues they face while developing strategies to fix them.