How well do universities do mobile?
Due to our award winning-work with clients such as Goldsmiths University, Numiko recently partnered with Acquia to get to the bottom of what students want from university websites. For universities looking to attract the best students from around the world, it's vital they understand what mobile means for website design. In our experience, mobile and tablet course searches account for 40% of sessions. We've been interviewing students to see what they really think of unversities' mobile websites:
So how can universities make sure their websites are mobile friendly?
The aim should always be to make the experience of viewing a university’s website as smooth as possible for the user. If it’s slow, hard to navigate or information is difficult to acquire, users quickly abandon the site and move on elsewhere. Our design team has come up with some tips to make sure mobile sites are giving users what they need:
Is information touch friendly?
Users can often miss out on information, for example, if they have to rollover to view more text, mobile doesn’t allow that.
Are buttons big enough to register human touch?
Can users get to where they need? The recommended minimum size for buttons on mobile (according to Apple) is 44px wide by 44px tall.
Is your menu navigation right for mobile?
On desktop it might be fine to have a long list of options, but with mobile screen space is at a premium. How could you group different user journeys into a way that works for mobile?
Page length can be tricky.
A desktop page may seem short, but when you compress your layout down to a 320px-wide screen, it becomes very long and tiresome to scroll through. What information is absolutely key? Strip your mobile version back to that.
Beware, typography on mobile works differently on desktop.
Point sizes and line heights should reflect this. For example, your desktop copy might be 18px with 26px line height, but your mobile copy might be 16px with 24px line height - this allows more to be read on a smaller screen whilst also keeping your copy clear and legible.
Downloads can be annoying for mobile users.
Application forms may need to be downloadable Word files on desktop, but that doesn’t work as well on mobile. Keeping downloads to a minimum by using online forms that work entirely through the website.
If this sounds interesting and you want to quiz us some more, feel free to get in touch. We'd love to hear your thoughts: firstname.lastname@example.org