Bad mobile UX will make people tired (and sore)

As a web designer, if you’ve ever felt your work is too virtual, too intangible, then find some solace in designing for mobile environments. Thinking about how users position themselevs while using a touch device, we grasp how our UX decisions can have physical, real world impact:

Every touch, every swipe, every pinch, and every zoom requires quite a bit of physical motion. Your hand moves while the rest of the arm is working to stabilize the wrist and you are holding the device steady with the other hand. That is a lot of physical exertion compared to using a typical mouse, where your hand moves less, your wrist is probably resting on a wrist pad, and your arm sits comfortably on a chair arm. Your other hand is not even needed. So, you can start to see how much more effort using a mobile device can be.

Read The Cost of a Touch for a bit of theory on how to make life – real, physiological life – easier for the guy at the other end of your project.

Tl;dr –

  • Remember the user’s prior selections
  • Make it easy to skip ahead
  • Take advantage of device sensors (light, movement, sound, etc.) to understand context
  • “Looks cool!” should never interfere with “Works well!”

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