A new Google portal will give developers expert advice on how to design applications and Web pages for optimal performance on mobile devices.
As a company that derives a huge portion of its revenue from online ads, Google has a lot at stake in ensuring that people are able to access information and applications content on their mobile devices as easily as possible. Several of the company’s recent moves, such as its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) effort and its decision to give a higher search engine ranking to Web pages that have been optimized for mobile viewing, are geared toward meeting this objective. Continuing in the same vein, the company this week unveiled a new portal designed to provide mobile application developers and mobile Website developers with expert tips on how to optimize their products for mobile users. The “Think with Google: Designing for Mobile Micro-Moments” hub features in-depth data that Google gathered from studying how a test group of more than 100 people used mobile apps and Websites. The goal of the research was to identify mobile applications and Website designs that contributed to a positive mobile experience and those that caused problems and frustration for users.
Google conducted the research in partnership with AnswerLab, a company that specializes in user experience research and usability testing. Other AnswerLab customers include Amazon.com and Zynga. “The results are two new sets of [user experience] principles with specific recommendations to help you improve your mobile experience and drive conversions,” Google’s UX research lead Jenny Gove said in a blog post. One of the sets of 25 principles covers tips on what mobile app and mobile site developers should be doing from a design perspective to engage users and get them to buy products or services. The section walks developers through a variety of topics like how to use speed-test tools to ensure fast page load times, how to display product information, and how to enable a user-friendly check out process. The other guide on Google’s new hub covers 25 principles with specific recommendations on how to design a better commerce experience for mobile users. Topics covered in this guide include app navigation and exploration, in-app searches, form entry and usability and comprehension. Here again the emphasis is on giving developers tips on how to design their applications and Websites so as to optimize user experience and drive sales conversions. “Mobile has shaped the way users interact with businesses and brands alike,” Gove wrote. “Nowadays, businesses cannot simply replicate their desktop strategy on mobile; they need to re-think how to build mobile experiences that are useful for clients in their moments of need.” Google’s new design hub also gives developers tools they can use to implement their newly learned designed skills. For example, developers can use Google’s Pagespeed Insight to test how quickly their pages load on a mobile device so they can tweak them if necessary. Several Google application programming interfaces, services and the company’s Material Design visual design language are also available to developers through the new design hub.