Mobile screen limitations present opportunities.

21 Apr 2015

Smartphones may have small screens and at times poor connectivity but they do present opportunities for brands to focus and streamline content. As design and technology company using mobile design principles we can turn this into a positive strength.

Why focus on Mobile?

You only need to observe commuters to see how mobile devices have transformed how we communicate and go about our daily activities. We can order and pay for food, groceries, sign digital documents and even remotely turn off our central heating.

With the recent change in Google and their mobile-friendly update we are going to have more useful content targeted at mobile devises.

Mobile limitations present us with opportunities.

In comparison to a desktop screen sizes mobile screens by their nature can only display limited content. What impact does any content displayed above the fold on a 30 inch desktop monitor have on a 4 inch mobile screen - answer about 5 screen scrolls.

With that in mind you are asking your mobile users to interaction more to access the same amount of content. They will require their short term memory to kick in if they need to refer to content from previous scrolls.

Our mobiles are always with us, they fit easily in a pocket or handbag and we use phones in any number of situations. On that basis whilst browsing on our mobiles other daily activities demand attention and we stop, resulting in shorter sessions. It’s an easy conclusion to make - we are more likely to be disturbed browsing websites on a mobile than on a desktop.  This appears to be the case based on studies of our clients mobile analytics.

We then must design our content so it can be digestible with interruptions.  This means not only creating very clear and predicable journeys but a website that must save session states for those who want to return.

Other helpful features are;

  • Allow users to save history
  • Email or share information with themselves or others.
  • Allow users to return to their data on other platforms
  • Access any actions they may have carried out on mobile.

Prioritising content to essential and digestible tasks will focus content design back to desktops. If we can streamline and communicate more effectivly and in smaller spaces then all the better. Consider how bank screens appear on ATM’s and other similar devices. Content should not confuse your users but intuitively funnel them to a goal.

 

 

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