Why rubbish mobile UX is the worst

Bad (mobile) experiences harm (customer) relationships. Analytics Consultant Will Smith explains what you can do to ensure your website's mobile experience isn't losing you customers.

I know I’m not alone in this scenario; after a busy day in the office, I’ve come home, made dinner and now it’s time to kick back, relax, having some me time. With the TV on in the background, I pull out my trusty, albeit slightly scratched, iPhone and decide to browse some of my favourite brands’ websites for some clothes that really, I shouldn’t be buying (but probably will…).

It's not uncommon for me to browse the internet while lying on the sofa – actually, I imagine a lot of people do this with their evenings. There’s a lot of chat about mobile now, after all, in a lot of industries, mobile has overtaken desktop as the most popular device. I’m guessing the sofa lazing has something to do with it.

As I lie there casually sifting through some awesome (and some not-so-awesome) shirts, which I could see me rocking both in the office and when I’m out for drinks on a Saturday, I decide to add to basket and treat myself (again). Going through the purchase funnel, it’s quickly becoming apparent that this experience isn’t going to be the greatest – it’s fiddly, the CTAs are too small, the right keypad doesn’t come up on different fields when I’m typing information – why does this have to be so annoying? My laptop is all the way across the room, and the charger is plugged in under my desk, that seems like a lot of effort to dig that out. Screw it, I’m closing the window – no sale! I’m not the only one who’s done this. A Jumio survey suggests that up to £6bn of revenue is left on the table due to a poor mobile user experience – and I’ve just added to this figure.

It’s not me, it’s you…bad experiences harm relationships

We talk a lot about mobile, and how important it is to your business. Not only does Google place massive emphasis in terms of SERPs to ensure your site is mobile friendly, mobile a critical revenue driver and also plays a big role in determining brand loyalty. Business Reporter states that 85% of users who have a negative experience on a mobile are unlikely to conduct business with that company again.

Let’s be fair, it’s easier to make the mobile experience a bad one than it is to make it a good one, much like it’s easy to make a bad site than it is a good one, but just to be clear, creating a great mobile experience is critical, not optional.

So what annoys users? Usability issues are far more irritating than uncertainty issues – with 68% of users reporting that a bad experience is the most annoying thing on a mobile, compared to 21% saying the lack of confidence in payment security or handing over personal data puts them off. Usability issues can range slow load times, poorly placed CTAs, fiddly and cumbersome purchase funnels to not being able to find the support button (the list of annoying things goes on and on).

Let’s make it better

I might have painted a bad picture of mobile here, but it doesn’t need to be all doom and gloom. At Equator, we know what makes a great mobile experience and by following some simple principles can mean you’re offering your audience one of the best experiences possible, reaping many rewards for your business.

Google created an in-depth guide on Principles of Mobile Site Design, from which we’ve pulled our favourite mobile design points and added in Equator’s guiding principles:

  • Easy to see, front and centre CTA – nice and clear, this needs to be your primary CTA, make this really impactful
  • Keep menus short and sweet – too cluttered and you’ll confuse the user – you want the user to navigate, not exit
  • Let your users find what they're looking for with with Site Search – don’t hide this away, let your users browse products and services and ensure the results match their query terms
  • Let users purchase as guest – yes you might have a pre-existing relationship, but don’t make the user do the work – allow them to purchase the way they want
  • Always make contacting you one click away – offering a CTA instils confidence removing complexity in the purchase funnel
  • Use the right keypad – asking for a credit card number? Make sure it’s the number pad. Asking for an email, ensure it’s the email pad. Simple, but effective.
  • Avoid full site labelling – labelling as “full site” suggests that the mobile site is a limited version, prompting some users to go to the desktop version and have a terrible experience. If you need to label, call it “desktop site”.
  • Look at your data – ensure your Google Analytics configuration includes at least a Mobile View (check out our blog for Google Analytics configuration)
  • Test and test again – think about user testing your site. Remember, it’s better to test and fix in the early stages than it is to rebuild relationships you might be losing from providing a poor mobile experience.

Simply ‘thinking’ about creating a mobile experience isn’t really an option anymore. In many industries, customer loyalty is a thing of the past, if you’re not willing to offer your audience a good experience, then you might find your bottom line getting lighter and lighter. And it’s people like me, who lie on their sofas at the end of the day who have no patience with terrible mobile experiences.

Believe me, I will go elsewhere.