Mobile apps and mobile landing pages have a lot in common. They both seek to provide flawless touch navigation, they both must be edited down from their Web counterparts for the small screen, and they both are on a mission to provide a seamless user experience.
Tedd Fox is a lead software developer at Citrix, where he demonstrates his passion for mobile application development and delivery every day. He is a co-designer of Citrix Receiver for iPad, which was the #1 free business app in the iTunes AppStore on April 14, 2010.
Because we’re so passionate about mobile-optimized landing pages, and Tedd’s so passionate about mobile-optimized applications, I thought it would be fun to sit down and pick his brain. You can follow Tedd @teddfox on Twitter.
Q: Usability is a huge part of the development process for mobile apps. What are your top user experience tips when designing for mobile devices?
Tedd: Luckily, I am the lead on the “experience” part.
- IKEA is your friend. Get Scandinavian with your app design: less is more.
Users do not need to see EVERYTHING at once. If a button is not used frequently by many many many users, it goes somewhere else, and not in the face all the time.
- Design features that will actually be used!
I cannot stress enough on this one. Do NOT implement a feature that only 10% of your users would ever think about using. I always say “no” on feature requests until the users are almost to the point of being mean! I just want to make sure a good percentage of the users want it.
On that note, I NEVER ASK, “would you like it if we implemented this or that feature?” That is leading the user. I have them tell us what they want. If you ask them if they want to see this or that feature, they will say yes, but if you ask them what they want to see or do, they will tell you the truth.
- Use no Flash. Yes, it can be a political thing, but you are better off if you want your content seen on the most popular devices.
- Know which browsers do what. Try to detect the browser and optimize for it. If it is a tablet, use the “desktop” version of the site. If it is a phone use the mobile version. Nothing urks me more than using my iPad and getting a crazy looking mobile site. Better yet, give a link to switch between the different versions, and make that link easy easy easy to find.
Thank you to Tedd for taking the time out of his busy day to speak with me. To stay up to date with Tedd’s work, follow him @TeddFox.