7 Must-Know Facts About Mobile Users

Improving your usability means building more confidence and better connections across a variety of devices, paying specific attention to those users with smartphones or tablets.

According to Gartner, “Enterprises too often associate usability and user experience (UX) work as a nice-to-have aesthetic rather than an important business value generator. As a result, poor usability undermines business results with external and internal stakeholders.”

A positive multi-device user experience is becoming more critical for users, especially when comparing products or services online. To help you build better mobile usability, we’ve compiled 7 Must-Know Facts about those users to help you better understand their impact on usability.

#1. Smartphones are the dominant ‘go-to’ device –

According to econsultancy author Christopher Ratcliffe, over 50% of the US’s and UK’s mobile phones are “smartphones.”
And 77% of these smartphone users say they use it daily when out and about. It is considered the dominant “go-to” device and is the only device used heavily throughout their day.

#2. Default Mobile Screens are unpleasant for users

Mobile testing is complex because of the many variations of devices, platform versions, screen sizes, user contexts and performance characteristics.”

According to some recent user interviews completed by Executive Brief, default mobile screens do not offer a seamless transition for users and are often confusing and not instinctive in their design.

When the mobile screen looks like too far a departure from the website, users often feel uncomfortable with the mobile site’s new features or app. According to Executive Brief, It is a fact that 63% of users who own both a tablet and a smart phone cite larger screen size will switch to the desktop with its full keyboard, and touch screen capability for a better shopping experience.

#3. Mobile Users Price Shop on their Smartphones

While many users do prefer shopping using desktop sites or tablets, mobile users are using their phones to price match or to compare products, sometimes even when in the brick and mortar store itself.

In fact, According to Jeff Sauro at Measuring Usability, 73% of mobile usage in electronics stores is used to read through product reviews or compare prices.

#4. A Simple Experience Matters –

According to Measuring Usability, mobile devices are often limited by their screen size and the users internet bandwidth.

These restrictive forces at work in the mobile device can often limit your own powerful images and design. Keep in mind that a minimalist design is then most effective. Users should be able to quickly and instinctively find what they need. Even with a light internet connection.

While building mobile usability is important for your users, don’t assume that an app is the most advantageous way to connect with them. It is a fact that most apps are forgotten about altogether after they’ve been downloaded. Since most users have over 20 apps, consider building a better mobile site instead of an app, which may get lost on the users phone.

It is a fact that most users complain about the frequent prompts to download apps and that they are less likely to make purchases on an app than a mobile site.

#5. Color Matters –

Blue is still the best color for links according to smashingmagazine.com.

Research has shown that if usability is your focus, then blue is the best color for links as it’s something users have come to expect. Choosing the right color palette for your mobile site is also critical. Usability best practices involve making a sharp contrast between the text and background. Color is a way for you to effectively convey the objective of your mobile site or app. Colors can compel your users to engage with the site and to make purchases. It also plays a critical role in brand or business recognition.

#6. Security is still a concern –

Based on studies collected by TabTimes, over 68% of mobile users are still fearful of making purchases via their smartphones or mobile devices, citing security as the biggest concern for doing so.

Fear of stolen data is cited as often as usability or screen size as the reason why a user may not enter bank or credit card information to make a purchase via a mobile site or app.

#7. Users abandon difficult tasks –

Finally, the folks at userzoom have found that too many pop ups, interruptions, and download prompts will cause users to abandon their tasks. The main reason for abandoning tasks via a mobile device include; lack of sufficient information on mobile site, poor features or filters compared to website, and lack of website optimization. To simplify difficult tasks, considering offering online guidance, such as that offered by WalkMe.

Now that you know your users habits a little better, you can begin to facilitate better usability. Since a significant number of mobile users will leave a poorly functioning site within seconds, and many won’t bother with an app download after being interrupted, concentrate on building a simple mobile site where simplicity and instinctive design helps boost faith in your site’s security and allows users to make purchases, and complete tasks efficiently.


Jessica is the Lead Author & Editor of UsabilityLab Blog. Jessica writes for the UsabilityLab blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to usability.