Over the past few years, our organization has been conducting a greater number of studies that involve concept and UI/UX testing on mobile devices. Which is not surprising, with the increased likelihood that when surfing the Web, the average person will do so using a mobile device.
What designers are challenged by is the lack of evidence around what works, and what doesn’t work, on a mobile device. Add in the variety of devices on the market, and the various input methods people use (ranging from keypad entry to voice recognition), organizations often need to prioritize where to focus their design resources.
One aspect of the mobile browsing experience that is most important for most to make easy is accepting money from a customer. Kudos to Derek Nelson, who provides best practices for developing a checkout process. His words summarize his article best:
Once a user is in the checkout process … the website has switched from being a salesperson to being an order fulfillment center
Many of his recommendations, and sample screens of well-designed vs poorly-designed checkout processes, seem intuitive. Only request the information you need to complete the sale. Ditch the social media links. Be sure customers have the option to sign in as registered user or guest.
Yet many contradict what designers, especially those versed in Web design, have embraced. Lots of screen real estate for additional brand engagement. Hover-overs to explain confusing design elements. Links to content tangentially related to the process and/or products on hand. And most importantly relatively fast load times over standard Internet connections (versus the load time over anywhere from Edge to 4G connections).
As more data become available pertaining to successful designs, certainly we can expect mobile apps to begin to adhere to a more finite set of designs. I think we are far from standardizing on UI elements for mobile devices, and look forward to how future technical and design-specific elements will impact easy-to-use mobile apps in the future.