Deciding if a mobile-first strategy is right for you
When it comes to mobile strategy, the question has shifted from, “Do I need a mobile strategy?” to “Should my strategy be mobile-first?” A mobile-first strategy prioritizes the delivery of mobile content over other options.
If you are required to produce printed content for regulatory compliance purposes, a print-first strategy might make sense. But only a few organizations have this requirement. For many others, it may be time to rethink your approach. PDFs are not ideal for smaller screens, and highly designed static HTML pages might also be a problem. Instead, you need to work with mobile in mind from the beginning. Here are some things to keep in mind in developing your mobile-first strategy.
The smaller screen on a mobile device introduces lots of usability challenges. For example, large tables are problematic. At a readable size, the table doesn’t fit on-screen, and the user has to scroll back and forth. If you squeeze the table onto the tiny screen, it is often illegible. There are a number of design alternatives that might let you make tabular information more usable.
Users have to be able to find what they are looking for to use it, mobile or otherwise. A unified taxonomy provides the foundation for effective search in any medium. There are some additional things you need to consider with mobile search. How is the search experience itself? Is the search bar big enough? How are results displayed?
Consider features unique to mobile devices when developing your strategy. You may want to use an app to deliver mobile content instead of a website. What that app would look like will depend on what your customers need. Do they need extra support? Do they need a convenient way to place an order for a product? Do they need access to specific information? Think about the services and products that you offer and what would be most useful to your customers.
Remember that users are (probably) using a touchscreen to interact with content, which is a different experience from (physical) keyboard and mouse. And don’t forget accessibility–provide alternatives via voice and other interactions.
Simply dumping content on a website doesn’t make it mobile friendly. People need information to be accessible and usable on their phones, so it’s important to deliver what they want the way they want it. If you don’t currently have a mobile strategy or think you need to re-evaluate what you do have, contact us. We can help.