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How Facebook and Google are pushing Mobile UX to its limits

In an endeavor to ensure lesser loading times for news and media web pages across the mobile web, Facebook and Google came up with Instant Articles and Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).

For Facebook, the initiative was focused on keeping users from leaving the social-media channel rather than referring traffic to online publishers. For Google, the project focused on building lightweight web pages by using an open-source AMP HTML code framework. In both cases, the focus was on radically improving the mobile user experience.

How did ‘Facebook’s Instant Articles’ Improve its Mobile UX?

With Instant Articles, publishers can now host their stories and posts on the Facebook servers, which proved beneficial in loading linked articles ten times quicker than a separate web app or page. With various interactive tools like auto-play videos, maps, zooming, comments, audio captions, analytics tools, and others, the project lends handy tools for publishers and a great mobile user experience.

With speed being the main selling point, Instant Articles also ensured visual consistency and readability by having good visual design standards and lesser visual clutter.

Publications that already signed up for Instant Articles were National Geographic, The New York Times, BBC News, Fox Sports, The Washington Post, The Onion, The Huffington Post, The Verge, The Atlantic, Business Insider, TIME, Hollywood Reporter, and others.

How will ‘Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages’ Enhance Mobile UX?

As per Google, with AMP HTML, the performance of mobile web has ‘drastically improved’. This was made possible by allowing website owners to build websites with lighter-weight web pages and employing caching techniques of pre-fetching and storing web pages to pre-load it even before the user clicks on it. The result – web pages that earlier took around 3 seconds to load will now take milliseconds to show.

Accelerated Mobile Pages could load much faster when users search for news on Google by getting rid of JavaScript and simplifying the HTML code architecturally.

Many big tech companies and online portals are already on board, including Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

So, is the Mobile UX Pushed to its Limits?

Thanks to internet conditioning, we want everything quickly. When visiting a news or media website, pages might take time to load. While the text might show, building up might take longer because of ads and images. This painful experience of slow page load times is now being taken care of by Facebook’s Instant Articles and Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages. These aim at driving more direct traffic for publishers by ensuring the user experience is improved and a foundation is built for creators to deliver their content.

With the speed of the mobile web, it seems a win-win scenario for all parties – first and foremost, the user; the publisher; and the platforms supporting the content. In the long run, the strategy of picking content from a few media houses and serving these quickly to the users can lead to content agenda-setting. Only time will tell how this media distribution and consumption model on the mobile web evolves.

What makes a great UX Design?

UX designing is a dynamic and complex process- to offer the most exclusive experience to your customers, attend to what they have to say. It would be best if you focus your priority on delivering user-centric designs.

What would interest your user base? Nobody other than your customers would be able to answer that better. A user-centric design will help designers cater to the needs of their users through the app.

To start with, research and reference similar mobile apps; this doesn't mean copying other mobile apps, as what works best for one interface doesn't necessarily go along with others.

Instead, learn and analyze from your competition- why specific trends work and others don't. Combine your research with what aligns best for your brand and personalize the user experience, making your UX stronger in the long run. The most general way of validating your product is by testing it with your target audience. Generate a minimum viable product (MVP) at the beginning to settle if your idea's well-accepted by its core users. If you question how much it will require to produce a mobile app, you can check some online calculators that can aid you in getting some rough estimation.

How can you improve UX for your mobile app?

Every app and its purpose are different; thus, the advancements you want to provide your customers can vary. However, the basic essentialities of delivering a seamless, fast and personalized experience remain the same.

Personalized UX 

Personalization provides unique UX for every app or website on the web. When you align user experience and preferences, users are more likely to stay connected with your app. Personalization becomes more critical when designing eCommerce UX pages. Displaying pop-up messages with personalized names reminds customers of half-abandoned transactions- this adds a customized touch. However, it's also important to display only relevant content to avoid any counter-effect.

Proper features and speed 

A Google research found that if the page loading time takes more than 5 seconds, the possibility of bounce increases by 90%! Optimizing images and reducing plugins are some of the ways to speed up the mobile loading page. Thus they should remain in your focus to avoid any speed delay issue. The app's functionality must help users finish their tasks as it's the first motivation towards downloading any app. Prioritize core features vital for achieving the tasks and offer only those relevant features which encourage even more users to stay connected with your app.

Gesturization Tune 

Gesturization includes users' actions while navigating and interacting with your app, like tapping, scrolling, and swiping through the screen. Knowing your users' behavior is crucial for optimizing the gestures according to them. Gestures allow users to engage with the technology through the sense of touch; these famous gestures are tap, double-tap, drag, swipe, and press. Designers should keep these touch- gestures out of hard-reach areas for easy navigation and provide enough tapping space. 

Summing Up

The big fish are emergently experimenting with their UX designs to hold their customer base and provide a seamless experience. Its time designers and leaders focus immediately on what they can learn and experiment on their own for their consumers. The above tips highlight the recommendations for visually pleasing design and reliability. UX design itself should be subtle, simple, and decluttered – the users must feel the pronounced navigation flow.

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Tags: Design, Experience, UX, User, User-Experience, dsc_ux

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Comment by Erma Winter on September 3, 2021 at 12:53am

Nice article I was really impressed by seeing this blog, it was very interesting and it is very useful for me. Informative blog! It was very useful for me. Thanks for sharing.

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