Google based their research on 119 hours of user testing sessions on mobile websites, and released 25 rules on mobile web design.

We picked 12 that are especially relevant for mobile experience design:

1.     Keep promotional ads obscure.

Keep original content the majority of what the user sees. Do not allow ads to interfere with the navigation of the user.

 

2.     Place text search boxes near the top.

Mobile users often want to go on websites to search for something; so having prominent search tools helps streamline navigation.

 

3.     Make sure site search results are relevant.

Use autocomplete and autocorrect options to correct typos and shorten search time for users.

 

4.     Offer to narrow content according to user’s preferences.

Ask questions upfront on a mobile site (e.g. gender, age) so that consumers can easily get to the content they want to see.

 

5.     Allow for site exploration as guests.

Do not force users to register before they could continue exploring the site.

 

6.     Let customers purchase as guests.

Even when users want to make a purchase, do not make registration a requirement, especially when the benefits of registering are not made clear.

 

7.     Pre-fill forms.

For registered users, save their time by pre-filling their preferences on forms where shipping or payment info is needed. Make sure your forms have no repeated fields and use as much autofill as possible. Use progress bars to let the user know which part of the form they are on.

 

8.     Click-and-call.

If there is a phone number on the site, allow for the option to click-and-call. For companies that provide services, customers prefer talking over the phone rather than searching for complicated information on their mobile devices.

 

9.     Simplify input.

Use tapping, drop down menu or toggle icons for tasks that users have to perform on the site.

 

10. Don’t make users pinch-to-zoom.

It could be frustrating and users might miss important messages if the site is not designed correctly

 

11. Do not use ‘Full Site’ labeling.

If the option of ‘Desktop Site’ is given and named as ‘Full Site’, users will mistake it as the ‘fuller’ site. Make sure the whole mobile site is optimized.

 

12. Explain why a user’s location is needed.

Allow for a “Find Near Me” option instead of detecting the user’s location without asking.

 

Point Taken:

Google’s rules of mobile optimization reminds us to design mobile sites to be approachable, open to all and simple to navigate. 

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