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Mobile Commerce Design Considerations

By Expert Author: Sarah Campbell

Mobile commerce is one trend that almost all brands are now following. However, an interactive shopping concept of this magnitude requires a lot of technological considerations. For one thing, businesses need to pay close attention to create high-level and conceptual design for their mobile commerce sites.

The first factor they need to pay attention to is the touch interfaces. In general, touch devices are being praised as they are more intuitive to use as you can simply tap the content to take an action. However, as a tool for website interaction as well for interactive shopping, touch suffers a few severe limitations in comparison to computer keyboard and mouse. Touch devices uses several ‘hidden gestures’ instead of the traditional right/ left click and hover state. They are much less precise and the touch keyboards usually have puny letters even though they take up around 82% of the touch screen in the landscape mode.

One of the main challenges faced by m-commerce brands is that a larger number of users have trouble tapping their intended element. Thus, it is important for businesses to design their mobile commerce sites properly so that users don’t face problem hitting their intended link. One option is to increase the relative size of your m-commerce site’s hit areas and also increase the spacing between your clickable elements. The minimum hit area must be around 7×7mm and there must be a minimum of 2×2 mm spacing between your clickable elements.

Since touch devices lack the hover state interfaces, it is important to ensure that the links and buttons in your mobile commerce site are overtly and immediately obvious. Another problem that many face during mobile shopping is that of slow and error prone typing caused due to the small touch keyboards of the smartphones. A good solution to get rid of this issue for your m-commerce site is to invoke custom keyboards where appropriate.

The screen size another factor where you need to pay attention to for creating conceptual design for your mobile shopping sites. Remember that your mobile users view the entire commerce store in their handheld device, the size of which is quite similar to that of a business card in most cases. And in practice, the space is often even less as some would be taken up by the touch keyboards informs, the browser and OS, and finger interactions. The display size of a smartphone is 3-5 inches and this leads to the problem of limited displayed content due to the physical size of the phone’s screen. This often causes extreme loss of context and thus, brands must be serious about this factor while designing their mobile commerce sites.

Solutions for such issues are adding form field descriptions and tool-tips so that users do not get stuck in the checkout and can enjoy a great
mobile shopping experience. Create good microscopy and as there are fewer contexts, you must have each of your label names and write the header in clear and unambiguous terms. Also, to simplify complex content it is recommended to have progressive disclosure on your mobile commerce sites. Show all your major options at the top of the page.

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