This week the mobile enterprise addresses design, usability and branding. Concepts traditionally used to talk about the web, have now become primary concerns for mobile users.

The Challenges of Mobile Sites

Just as consumers are driving innovation within the enterprise, they are also driving changes with the mobile interfaces with which they interact.

A recent study from Gomez surveyed over 1,000 U.S. mobile Internet users and found many remain unsatisfied with the formatting of mobile sites as well as the speed at which they load.

Consider these findings:

Load times

  • 17% will wait no longer than 5 seconds for a site to load
  • 32% will wait no longer than 10 seconds for a site to load
  • 33% expect websites to finish loading a bit slower on their phone
  • 20% expect websites to finish loading just as quickly on their phone
  • 18% expect websites to finish loading almost as quickly on their phone

Common Mobile Issues

  • 33% say that the formatting of the mobile site made it difficult to read and use
  • 29% say that the mobile website was slow to load
  • 18% say that the mobile website didn’t function as expected

Improve Design and Functionality

Taking these stats in consideration, what are you doing to ensure that your customers don’t experience these type of issues? Can you afford to lose users because of the inaccessibility of your mobile website? Here are a few things you can do to improve your site’s design and functionality.

  • Simplify: Eliminate unnecessary images or allow users the option to view them.
  • Cut down clicks: Information should be accessed with as few clicks as possible.
  • Come home: Highlight the features your customers consider to be most important to the mobile user experience on the home page.
  • Have the right touch: With the availability of touch screens, make sure your site can be navigated by touch and that content and links are large and clear to make navigating the site hassle-free.
  • Get tested: In order to ensure the consistency of your site, test mobile websites on as many platforms as possible.

How Mobile Sites Change Behaviors

While you can take steps to improve the design of your site, you must first figure out what role your mobile site plays. Mobile phones are just not for making calls. Smartphones have evolved into a device from which users can communicate and be productive. So how does your mobile site fit into the mobile landscape?

Recently Fast Company’s Co.Design site featured an article about 10 Mobile Interfaces That Rewire Daily Life. In it, Claudia Bernett writes:

The more our mobile devices do, the more we regard them as a trusted confidante and rely on them for our most important activities and experiences. This opens a new door through which brands can connect with consumers. By creating meaningful mobile experiences that intersect with consumers daily lives, brands can establish deeper, longer-lasting relationships with consumers than was previously possible.

As smartphones evolve alongside users’ behaviors, companies are hard pressed to deliver information that not only meet the needs of their customers but also enhances the quality of their lives. It is a daunting task for sure, which is why companies must pay attention to what customers are doing online and engage with them in a way that helps to deliver exceptional products, applications and services.

By creating designs and brands that are both functional and meaningful, and engage consumers you will remain relevant in the marketplace.