Nowadays, not only do most good websites display differently on mobile devices (such as smartphones and tablets), but we also know that users behave differently on mobile devices.
The website is different
Often, mobile websites – or websites adapted to be responsive on mobile devices – are stripped-back versions of the desktop website. There may be fewer pages, and/or less content on the page. The way the pages behave may be different, too. For example, since clicking to other pages can be more painful on a mobile, you might want to try and get as much done on a single page as possible.
All of this has implications for the way you design your mobile pages. If you’ve removed a lot of what you think may be unnecessary content, what do you do if a user starts to look for it? Conversely, what if your page is a little cluttered – and a user’s finger hits a link by mistake, taking them away from your checkout page or even out of your website?
And all of this, in turn, has implications for the way you generate and interpret your heatmaps. Not least, you’ll be wanting to think about the kind of filtering you’ll want to do.
The interaction is different
Smartphones and tablets are smaller than desktop displays. So what users can see at a given moment will almost certainly be less, and even less again if you’ve stripped out some content. Gestures are different, too: mobile users will use their fingers or a stylus to click and scroll, rather than a mouse, and they’ll pinch and pan. And in the vast majority of cases, there’s a virtual keyboard rather than a physical keyboard.
Your page design will have to take into account that users may not be able to see key messages or CTAs. They make find completing a form more problematic – and if they navigate away from a page, they may struggle to find their way back, and might abandon their session altogether.
The behavior is different
Mobile users are often multi-tasking, with half an eye on something else (like the TV, or the next stop on the train). They may be in a hurry – and even if not, their attention span is likely to be shorter than when using a desktop. They know that there’s more chance of things going wrong, like losing signal, accidentally closing or navigating away from the page, or having a technical problem. Frustration can set in more quickly.
Users get, and they also expect a different experience on a mobile device. But does what they expect match what they get? With more and more customer engagement taking place on mobiles, it’s essential to get your customer experience (CX) right. And that means it’s essential to be able to use heatmapping to help with your CRO – and to know why your CRO will be different for your mobile site.
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