Do you remember the times when using the internet on your smartphone was a torture rather than help? User experience used to be on a completely different level ten years ago. So let’s have a look on the advantages and disadvantages of today’s mobile user experience.
In the last few years there has been a lot of development in this field and the users are spending more and more time on their mobile devices. In fact, more than a half of the time spent online is via mobile phones. Although there are still a few minor errors, the overall user experience is very pleasant in most cases.
While creating responsive designs, we have learned that it is more important to prioritize content than UI elements. Designers were trying to hide as much UI elements as possible, so that they would gain more space on those small mobile screens. After a while they have realized that hiding the chrome so much is not the ideal thing to do. Instead, they started to give the users a lot of content, which is than consequently narrowed into specific categories. Too much filters and search options were taking too much space – sometimes even the whole screen, which is not what you want on your website.
Another feature, which made the mobile user experience friendlier was the use of various gestures. On the other hand, it is sometimes hard for the users to discover them and use them. These gestures might include shaking the phone, swiping to the sides, tapping and holding items and so forth. For the gestures to be used efficiently, there would have to be a standardization for them, so that their use would make have the same response on all websites and mobile apps.
What has also made our lives easier is that phones are nowadays able to switch from mobile web to mobile app, when the app is available and installed on the phone. Let’s say, you want to book a cinema ticket. You start searching for the cinema on a search engine and when you click on the result, an app on your phone will automatically open the cinema app with the desired search result. Mobile apps have usually a better user experience (because they were built specifically for mobile phones), so finishing the booking becomes easier via the app.
On one hand, mobile phones have quite a small screen, so it is always harder than on PC to find something, but on the other hand, they have many useful features, such as Android/Apple Pay, GPS localization, biometric authentication and others. These are still not used perfectly but they are definitely making the users’ life easier.
In conclusion, we can say the user experience on mobile phones has improved a lot over the last decade. Nonetheless there are still issues waiting for the right solution. Yet the development is so fast nowadays, it is just a matter of time until we can claim the UX is brought to perfection.