Congratulations! It's 2015 and your company has some kind of mobile site (note: if you do not have a mobile optimized site, read this and immediately begin the process of creating one). So, you're done right?
Not exactly. It’s not enough to just have a website people can visit on mobile devices. It has to actually be efficient to access and navigate on those devices or you will lose traffic.
We’ve all been to sites on a mobile device that were impossible to use or somehow annoying. Your mobile site should encourage users to stay, not drive them away. Read these five mobile pet peeves to make sure mobile users don't hate your site.
1. Painfully Slow Page Load
Or any delay in page load. The other day while testing the load speed of a website I joked that it didn't pass the "Millennial Test." Pardon the stereotype, but as a person who grew up with an abundance of technology, I have very little patience when it comes to the internet. Particularly on my phone. If a website takes more than a few seconds to load, I’m out of there.
But it’s not just me; most users expect a site to load in four seconds or less. I recently visited a mobile site that was so slow it had a LOADING BAR. Not a chance am I or anyone else going to wait for that bar to fill. For the love of all things internet, at least create a site fast enough to evade using a loading bar.
2. Assuming Users Have Superhuman Sight
It pains me to say this, but I am not Superman. I cannot see at the molecular level, nor can I read the impossibly small print on your “mobile” site. If your user has to zoom in just to read your content, you’ve irritated them before they’ve read a single word. Just because your site exists on the internet, which can be accessed using mobile devices, does not mean it is mobile optimized. Reading your site on a 3 inch screen should be just as easy (or easier) as on a desktop.
3. Forgetting They Have Human-Sized Thumbs
We’ve all been there. You're trying to click one link amidst many, but you keep clicking the wrong one and having to go back and try again because your thumbs are just too big. Your mobile site should be easy to use for everyone, and not the Mobile Olympics where only the elite can access your content.
It makes me feel like the T-Rex from Meet the Robinsons.
And he’s right, it’s just not a well thought out plan. I have big thumbs, and a little screen. The goal is to make your content as accessible as possible, not making it a challenge so only those with the most dexterous thumbs can get to it.
4. App Pushing
So, you’re telling me because you couldn’t handle just making a site I can easily use, now I have to download an additional app (that I’ll probably never use) just to navigate your site for five minutes? No, just no. This is especially true if your app is actually nothing more than a mobile optimized site in app form. Why couldn't you just make a great mobile site so I don't have to download more junk to my phone?
Users are going to your site because they are looking for something they think you can provide, information, help, products etc. Please don’t get in the way of customers accessing your website.
The last thing you want is to annoy them. If they’re looking for an app, there is this handy little place called the App Store.
At least make the app offer as unobtrusive as possible. Twitter is a great example. Yes, Twitter is telling me there is an app available, but the banner is small (smaller than usual) and doesn’t get in the way of my experience.
Kayak is the antithesis. I do not need an entire page telling me I should download the app before I can even access the site.
5. Hard to Use Mobile Checkout
People use their mobile devices for just about everything these days. Shopping from their smartphones while on-the-go (or while binging season 3 of OITNB on their laptop) is no exception. With more than $293 billion in mobile commerce expected by 2018, companies have a huge motivation to create mobile-optimized, customer-friendly checkout processes.
Remember, the same people who won’t wait more than a few seconds for your site to load probably aren’t going to make it to the end of a frustrating checkout process. These are people with human eyesight, thumb size, and patience. If your checkout isn’t designed for mobile and involves a lot of pinching and squeezing, isn’t properly sized for a mobile device, and includes many steps, it's going to have low conversions and leave customers fleeing to a competitor's site.
What are your mobile site pet peeves? Share them with us in the comments below.
Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in March 2014 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.