Top 7 Mobile Usability Problems

7 Problems with Mobile Usability

Is the reason for low mobile conversions because we’re doing it all wrong in the first place? According to Michael Mace, VP Mobile at UserTesting, that is exactly the case. Why? We tend to focus on what percentage of site visitors arrive via  mobile when instead we should be focused on whether or not they are purchasing products. Potential buyers are constantly using their phones for research, especially when they’re out and about. So why aren’t they buying?



Here are the top 7 reasons why:

  • Un-tappable Items – If a user can’t tap on a button, image, link or anything that looks like it will take them to where they want to go, not being able to do it will frustrate them enough to go somewhere else.
  • Confusing Terminology – Headlines and content often don’t match with what customers are looking for. Are they looking for boots or tennis shoes? Be specific. Seek to understand whom your customers are and how they relate to content. Use that knowledge when generating copy and navigation structures.
  • Number Pad Blues – Ever go to a site on your phone and go to type information into the text fields and struggle with getting the right keypad to display? Entering credit card, billing or shipping information can be a pain in the ass when you’re flipping back and forth between keypads. Use HTML5 inputs to call out proper keyboard (e.g. input type =email, type = number).
  • Carousel Confusion – Carousels are distracting and don’t translate well to mobile. It makes for extra work. Get rid of the carousel. It’s not a menu.
  • PC Surprises – A PC Surprise occurs when designers forget to make all pages mobile-friendly. Don’t lose customers by surprising them with a PC experience when they are expecting a mobile experience. Convert ALL of your pages.
  • Search and filtering nightmares. – Search is one of the most used navigation pieces on your site. If you make items hard to find, they’ll bounce right out. Make search easy. Try to avoid drop-downs and use touch-points for things like sizes and colors. Keep the filter choices relevant. It goes back to knowing how your customers relate to your products.
  • Menu Madness – Latency and multiple layers of menu options are super frustrating to shoppers. Use analytics to identify where customers are clicking the most and get rid of the rest. Repeat this exercise often, as trends will change.

Content for this article was presented during the 2016 Conversion Conference in Las Vegas.

Jodi Gaines Pereira

Jodi Gaines Pereira is the co-founder of ReplyManager, a web-based tool designed to help online sellers manage their incoming customer communications. She served as CEO and blog editor until it's sale to XSellco. She is also a founding partner of iguanafarmGroup, a product development and engineering company. Jodi is a frequent contributor to online publications such as Tamebay and WebRetailer and often speaks about customer experience and marketing within the eCommerce community and is an accomplished singer / songwriter.

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2 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    My biggest hate on mobile sites are responsive sites. Sometimes I just want to see a full desktop site so give me the option to do so! I don’t care that you can cleverly detect what size screen I’m on. I just want the site I looked at yesterday on my laptop that I know my way around on.

    • I agree that having a full desktop version available can be advantageous, but it’s not always feasible for folks to manage two versions of their site, hence the use of responsive design. Thanks for the feedback.

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