I’m just gonna come right out and say it.
Remember back in the day when the only phones we had were plugged into the wall and were only as mobile as the length of that damn. curly. cord. that always would tangle up within itself.
Gone are those days. As with our ability to assume that our visitors and customers are using a mouse. Heck. Not only can we predict what devices our visitors are using, we don’t even know how they hold their device.
So what’s the solution to this? Well, that’s not an easy answer. New services like snapchat and tinder explore more simplistic navigation methods. Does this mean that your company site should function like these apps? Probably not. But it warrants looking at what apps are most popular with your demographic, and test out some similar navigation methods to see what sucks the least.
Lets look at an example that I think sucks from a UX perspective. This should look familiar to all you iPhone users. The app store is something we probably all see and use a lot. But it frustrates the crap out of me. I realize that there’s a lot of info to get across. I get that. But why do we need EVERYTHING to be navigation? First off, that’s annoying. And think about the demographic of users that are still trying to gain their footing in this whole “navigating using touch” stuff. And for us users who are comfortable enough with touch interfaces that we are using our phone one handed, only (W)NBA players would have fingers long enough to reach all the navigation with one hand. Why must the navigation be spread out all over the interface… and in the FAAAAAAARTHEST corners on top of that?
See that little button in the top right? By show of hands, how many of us tap that and expect to see “Categories”, but instead we’re confronted with that random “Wishlist” panel, every. damn. time. (BTW, does ANYONE use that feature? Is it important enough to need to always see it?)
And dear god… where. the. hell. do. I. look. first?
So… how do we fix this?
That’s a great question. I’m glad you asked.
First off, we need some better planning to streamline and tame that navigation zoo. And while we’re at it, lets keep the navigation all in one spot, lets say… at the bottom.
Oh, and hierarchy? Yeah, lets try that.
Simplify shit? That’s not a bad idea. I mean, you can get all crazy with navigating all the things later on. Don’t be all “used car salesman-y” on us–No offense to any used car salespeople out there.
Is this perfect? Nope. Is it better? Maybe. Only testing will truly tell.
There is no cookie cutter solution. Try shit out. Then give your website / mobile app to the least technical person you know. Watch them navigate it and don’t help them. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.