The seven sins of mobile experience

‘It’s no secret websites need to play well with smartphones following Google’s ‘mobilegeddon’ update earlier this year. But with pop-ups, cookies and slow-loading pages amongst some of the biggest gripes for the two billion global smartphone users, it’s clear some brands are yet to catch up with our growing mobile expectations.

Recently, my Bournemouth based digital agency, Greenwood Campbell (formerly IADigital) surveyed 300 smartphone users and uncovered the seven mobile sins many companies are guilty of. We made the results our focus at Fable, our quarterly digital marketing seminar, held recently at London’s Hospital Club. For many attendees including, Michael Kors, British Heart Foundation, House of Fraser and Transport for London, our Seven Deadly Sins event brought the survey to life.

The first thing we wanted was for attendees to experience these mobile sins first-hand so we devised a game show hosted by the devil, AKA Daryll Scott, a digital psychologist. We began by refusing to let people enter unless they accepted a chocolate chip cookie. Then we walked our audience through a series of games to demonstrate the sins, including getting “contestants” to wear huge foamy fingers and juggle small balls to highlight the annoyance of tiny mobile buttons. We also had someone interrupt proceedings with a giant hourglass to demonstrate frustrating website buffering.

Our survey revealed mobile sites have never been more important to a business’s success so how can brands improve their mobile offering? I have identified three key areas all businesses need to look at when analysing their web experience.

Recognise your goal: Whether you’re a hotel that wants a customer to make a booking in three clicks or a local authority that wants a more accessible site, understand your true goal and purpose.

Know thy user: At Greenwood Campbell we have the mantra, ‘Know thy User’ etched into the minds of our 27 employees. It’s a strong message, but users are at the core of everything we do and our team are experts at looking at everything from this perspective.

Test reality: We’re focused on getting under the skin of the customer and like to understand their characteristics, lifestyle and devices, which ensures the end result is relevant. We test within a user’s everyday environment, from background TV, to a bus or taxi seat and even with family and children in the background. This helps us see how efficient a site needs to be against everyday distractions. Generally people are time- poor and task-orientated, so it’s our job to ensure the sites we develop seamlessly overcome these challenges.

One of the things my co-founder, Ian Campbell and I, take pride in is the way we listen to our customer and focus on getting it right. In the six years we’ve been in business we’ve never lost a client and staff turnover is at less than ten per cent of the national average. Our loyal team retention means we can focus on developing relationships and exceeding our clients’ expectations.

Now, our target is helping clients avoid The Seven Deadly Sins, which is why we go out of our way to find and solve the digital problems people face. Many people don’t realise mobile usage has overtaken PC access and The Seven Deadly Sins experiment has given us huge insight into the importance of mobile site functionality.’

The seven deadly sins

Sin one: Pop-ups

Cookie rules have changed, you only need to inform visitors you use them.

Sin two: Desktop site on a mobile

An entire site needs to be mobile friendly.

Sin three: Slow-loading

People get bored and give up quickly.

Sin four: Poorly designed forms

Forms with non-essential information annoy people.

Sin five: Click to call enabled?

Make sure your call button works.

Sin six: CAPTCHA

Often difficult to decipher. There are now more user friendly ways to check for humans.

Sin seven: Pinch and zoom required

It was cool several years ago – it’s not anymore.

Adam Greenwood, Managing Director, Greenwood Campbell

Tel: 01202 555124

Email: hello@greenwoodcampbell.com

Web: www.greenwoodcampbell.com

Twitter: @GC_people