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Smartphone and desktop see similar email open patterns
Email remains one of the most critical marketing channels—if not the most exciting. And as more consumers access on mobile, there is a growing imperative to make sure emails are smartphone- and tablet-optimized. However, that doesn’t mean marketers can forget about the desktop just yet.
In May 2013, research from marketing solutions provider Harland Clarke Digital found that consumers primarily in the US used the desktop to open 55.2% of business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) marketing emails. The smartphone took one-quarter of email opens. And when adding in the tablet, mobile’s share of exclusive email opens rose to nearly one-third. There was also some frequency of consumers accessing the same marketing email on two or more devices.
As a web developer you know that creating engaging web UX means means quickly delivering content that captures your visitors attention.
The storage API, including localStorage, was designed to help web developers provide more app-like behaviour for the web than cookies previously allowed.
But it turns out you can also use localStorage to make your mobile website faster!
For reading emails, more than half of respondents chose the tablet as their preferred device, beating out PCs and Macs by over 20 percentage points. The difference was understandably narrower for sending emails, given that the keyboard is essential to writing emails. Just under half of respondents said they preferred the tablet vs. 41% who preferred a desktop or laptop computer.
More adult mobile owners used their devices to help them shop during the 2012 holidays than during the 2011 season, finds the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project in new survey results [pdf]. Among various actions taken, 27% used their device to look up product pricing “mobile price matchers”. While that was not up significantly from a year earlier 25%, what they did after comparing prices did shift. Specifically, 46% of this group reported ultimately purchasing the product at the particular store. That represents a significant 31% increase from 35% who reported doing so the prior year.
This is one of those posts that really makes me think and then cringe. While I totally agree with this…
Throughout my career, I’ve watched immensely talented designers waste a shitload of time creating fully fleshed-out comps of what a website could look like. Pixels get pushed, details are sweated, pages are printed out, hung on walls, and presented to clients. Clients squawk their feedback, then designers act on it. They repeat this dance until everyone is content (or until nobody gives a shit anymore, which happens more often than you’d think). Only then do those pristine comps get handed (more like shoved) over to developers to build.
It’s an increasingly-pathetic process that makes less and less sense in this multi-device age. I’m not making a case for ditching Photoshop altogether and designing solely in the browser (where are the blend modes in Chrome dev tools again?) but rather better understanding how we use Photoshop in modern web design (thanks Trent).
I hate to see this era coming to an end.
I will say that last year (’12) I started prototyping in a web based app called PROTO.IO This was the first time that I honestly believed I could design a complete site or mobile app and not rely on photoshop 100%.
This doesn’t make photoshop something I wouldn’t use. I would use it to create background textures, icons, and any images needed, but the actual layout I can do in something like Proto.io.
The advantage to using an app like Proto.io is that it will let me not only design the experience, but prototype the experience. It forces the designer to think about HOW something is used and not just what it will look like. It also lets you preview your work via the device you’re designing it for.
So yes, I believe that we are in a Post-PSD era.
Is anyone shocked at this? I’m not.. it’s Walmart.
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Go to full site – the mobile website escape
Always include a link to the full site for your users. No matter how good your design, some people just want the experience they’re used to. The only thing that likes change is a wet baby.
Keep headings shorter than short
Headings that wrap over more than 2 lines push your content down the page and often out of frame for users. Keep them short, focused and descriptive without telling the whole story.
Use placeholder text on small, common form inputs
On small forms where context is obvious, use placeholder text instead of labels (eg. login forms, search boxes or address forms).
Place labels above form inputs
When you use labels they should be placed above form elements. Using top-aligned labels makes sure that if the mobile browser zooms in on the input, the user doesn’t lose the context of the input.
Pop-ups suck on mobile
Window management on mobile still sucks. YouTube, Maps, anything that opens native applications takes the user outside the website’s flow and out of context. Do your best to integrate these elements on the page so that users can stay with the website they’re viewing.
Save time with font-based icons
We (heart image) icons! They spice up your designs. To avoid managing a sprite sheet with both retina assets and smaller icons, opt for a font-based icon set like: Font Awesome; glyphish; iconsweets; or symbolset. Or, make your own. Here’s how.
Give your mobile website a mobile-first makeover
Going mobile is about more than just squeezing an existing website into a one-column format. Examine your analytics and your user feedback. Tackle the opportunity to re-imagine your website for mobile and to focus on the important elements. Reorganize content so that it makes sense to the user. Drop extra content blocks. Move elements up or down the page. Add new elements for mobile devices. It’s your site to make amazing.
Make your default font size at least 14 px
Even if that seems really big, it’s the right thing to do. The only time to go smaller (and just to a minimum of 12 px) is on very precise labels for forms.
Respect the fat fingers and tipsy taps of your users
None of us are as dexterous as we’d like to be on our mobile devices. We can all have a touch of “fat fingers” symptoms. So design your actions accordingly. Make the touch targets big. We recommend 40px by 40px.
Give targets lots of margin too. We recommend at least 10px margins around the targets. Primary actions should always be big and tappable.
Embrace the wild and wonderful world of device APIs
When making a desktop site mobile we sometimes forget that smartphones and other mobile devices access user location, can make phone calls, take pictures and much more. Don’t confine your creativity to what’s on your desktop site.
I’m totally on board with this one. I think giving the user the option to show the password on mobile is key to them not giving up on logging in.
Masking passwords doesn’t even increase security, but it does cost you business due to login failures.” …and it’s worse on mobile. -Nielsen Norman Group
I still have hope in what this technology can do. It’s great that MOO is pushing it IMHO.
Great to know that we should really focused on the native browsers then when it comes to mobile optimization .
Get Inspired! This site is awesome for mobile appyness inspiration.
and EXCELLENT post on Quora about mobile optimized email designs.
Mobile Marketing: How do I create a mobile optimized email campaign? – Quora.
Here is a great list of links n’at.
Some recommended resources that our designers use when creating mobile ready emails.
- Designing emails for touch: Part 1(http://stylecampaign.co
m/blog/?p=98) and Part 2(http://stylecampaign.co m/blog/?p=94) (and many other articles at the StyleCampaign blog)
- Designing emails for mobile devices - http://www.smartinsights.
- Mobile email design in practice - http://www.campaignmonito
- Your Subscribers Are Mobilizing — Is Your Email Program Ready? -http://www.mediapost.com/
- 6 Design Tips for Mobile Email - http://infocenter.emailtr
- Five Keys to Mobile-Ready Email Design - http://chiefmarketer.com/
- Email insight: future of email part 1 – Mobile - http://emailblog.eu/2011/
- Designing Mobile Friendly Emails - http://blog.campaigner.co
- Menu size for touchscreen phones - http://emailfail.posterou
- Email Marketing Design for Mobile Devices - http://www.strongmail.com
- 5 Tactics For Successful Mobile Email Marketing - http://infocenter.emailtr
- Mobile Email: Is It Going Anywhere? - http://infocenter.emailtr
- The rapid growth of mobile email - http://infocenter.emailtr
- 5 Ways To Keep The Magic Alive In Your Email Design -http://infocenter.emailtr
- Designing an Email Newsletter: One Column vs. Two Columns -http://infocenter.emailtr
One last thing before you begin your campaign
Your team needs to decide…
- Should we create and send a mobile ready email and a normal desktop email separately?
- Should we send a normal desktop email with a link to the mobile version?
- During sign up should we ask our clients whether they want to receive a mobile ready email?
- Designing emails for touch: Part 1(http://stylecampaign.co
As usual LukeW’s notes from one of the AEA presentations is priceless:
In her presentation at An Event Apart in Washington DC 2012 Karen McGrane outlined why providing content to mobile users is not only a strategic imperative but also an obligation for many organizations. Here’s my notes from her talk on Uncle Sam Wants You (To Optimize Your Content for Mobile):
A really good read about how a HUGE project went for Global Moxie.
Our brief was to design a responsive site for phones and 7” tablets (Kindle Fire, Nexus 7, etc.). People has two other sites: one for desktop and one for iPad. The new edition stakes out the smaller end of the spectrum, replacing a very simple site that has served phones for several years. The new site’s responsive web design adapts to three primary breakpoints: the phone, 7” portrait, and 7” landscape.
The irony for this “small-screen” website is that its 7” landscape layout is nearly as wide as People’s desktop design. In creating this small-screen design, in other words, we also created a desktop-sized design, too. This is the essential nature of responsive design, of course, a layout that adapts gracefully to a wide range of screen sizes.
Things change for an Internet company when the majority of their usage and traffic shifts from desktop to mobile devices. New processes, priorities, and product thinking are required to adapt. But don’t wait too long to change as the shift from desktop to mobile can happen faster then you think… via LukeW | Data Monday: How Long To a Mobile Majority?.
They are claiming to be able to record your users’ “every tap, pinch, swipe and tilt” on mobile Web browsers.
This is hardcore if it works and would LOVE to see the analytics it puts out.
I’m not sure why i didn’t know about this site/style guide before today, but glad I found it.
Designing for mobile can be a frustrating and tricky thing, especially for Android.
The latest version of Android is 4.0 or “Ice Cream Sandwich”. I personally think it’s one of the best designs and UI’s I’ve ever laid eyes on. I’ve blogged about the design philosophy behind it before and this site just brings it all together.