How did m-commerce wrap up 2011? According to a post-holiday study from Motricity, nearly four in 10 consumers (38%) used their mobile devices to purchase a gift, followed closely by using a digital coupon or signing up for a coupon (37% each).
In darts, hitting the bulls-eye is harder to do than hitting any other part of the dartboard. This is because the bullseye is the smallest target. This same principle can also apply to touch targets on mobile devices.
Smaller touch targets are harder for users to hit than larger ones. When you’re designing mobile interfaces, it’s best to make your targets big so that they’re easy for users to tap. But exactly how big should you make them to give the best ease of use to the majority of your users? Many mobile developers have wondered this, and most have turned to the user interface guidelines provided by the platform developer for the answer.
Mobile apps currently have better usability than mobile sites, but forthcoming changes will eventually make a mobile site the superior strategy.
The most important question in a company’s mobile strategy is whether to do anything special for mobile in the first place. Some companies will never get substantial mobile use and should stick to making their desktop sites less insufferable on small screens.
But if your site happens to have decent appeal to mobile users, then the second strategy question is: Should you produce a mobile website or develop special mobile apps? The answer to this question today is quite different from what it will likely be in the future.
To conclude: I do believe mobile sites will win over mobile apps in the long term. But when that will happen is less certain. Today, if you are serious about creating the best possible mobile user experience, my advice is to develop apps.
There are plenty of solutions out there when it comes to optimizing a website for mobile. Transcoding (or screen-scrapping) is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to go, but there’s a catch, or actually five, which we will discuss in this column.
Challenge No. 1: The mobile solution will be tied to an existing website. The content or page structure of the desktop site is not necessarily the best structure for the mobile experience.
Challenge No. 2: Any proprietary technology will lock you in.
Challenge No. 3: Upfront cost is low but additional charges for changes will quickly add up.
Challenge No. 4: User experience, aesthetics, and performance will be less than optimal.
Challenge No. 5: It will not move your organization forward.
by Lorrie Thomas Ross
Small businesses can reap big results by having a mobile web presence. One type of mobile site does not fit all, so knowing design best practices can help make your mobile presence meaningful, matter and pay. If you are thinking about developing a mobile-specific site, here are the three most important mobile design best practice points to ponder so your mobile website supports your overall Internet marketing efforts.
1. Choose Critical Components
2. Remember, Mobile Site Users Scan vs. Read
3. Results: What Action Do You Want Users to Take?
More evidence of the growing importance of mobile comes this time from IBM, which predicts that “an unprecedented 15 percent of people in the U.S. logging onto a retailer’s Web site are expected to do so through a mobile device.
Other recently holiday related mobile predictions and estimates include:
- Google saying that “44 percent of total searches for last minute gifts and store locator terms will be from mobile devices.”
- Performics said that “Google search clicks from mobile devices are now 14.2 percent of all search clicks” and expects paid clicks coming from mobile to grow to 17.3 percent this December
by Jakob Nielsen
Mobile devices require a tight focus in content presentation, with the first screen limited to only the most essential information.
Short is too long for mobile. Ultra-short rules the day.
Deferring Information = Initial Info Read More
It’s a tough decision to defer most of your information to secondary screens because many users will never see it, even though you no doubt consider it very important.
But remember: if you make the first screen too dense, then nobody will read anything. Better to focus the initial screen and let those
users who’re particularly interested dig into the rest. That way, you’ll satisfy more customers, get more traffic, and derive more business value from your mobile content.
By Jamie Turner
Is your website meeting the needs of on-the-go mobile users?
When you’re developing your first mobile site, you may be at a loss. That’s understandable—a mobile website is an entirely different animal from a traditional website.
What follows are 9 best practices you can use to ensure your mobile site is as good as it can be.
#1: Simplify. Then Simplify Again. And Again
#2: Plan Your Site Layout
#3: Match the Branding Elements From Your Standard Site to Your Mobile Site
#4: Utilize White Space
#5: Avoid Flash or Java
#6: Reduce the Amount of Text Entry Necessary
#7: Do Not Use Pop-Up Windows
#8: Use Mobile Redirects
#9: Allow People to Visit the Full Site
by Lorrie Thomas Ross
The rapid proliferation of cell phones and other mobile devices could mean that your website is getting out-of-date — or at least needs some tweaks.
Find out about the difference between a mobile website and a mobile app.
There are three mobile site options:
Marketing Benefits of Being Mobile:
- Mobile-friendly sites can boost search engine ranking.
- Mobile-friendly sites improve customer service.
- Mobile-friendly sites may give you a competitive edge.