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Designing For Mobile Users by James Trumbly @econnectemail

Designing For Mobile Users

Over the holiday season, I used my mobile phone more often than usual for a variety of tasks: checking email and Facebook, shopping online, browsing the internet. Being stuck in a car for 10 hours and away from your office for over a week necessitates some creativity when it comes to staying connected. Because I was stuck using my mobile device almost exclusively for these tasks, I became more aware of the frustrations associated with email messages and websites not designed with the mobile user in mind. And while this subject has been discussed before, I think it’s worth revisiting, especially as we enter a new year and begin planning new email marketing campaigns. So, without further ado, here’s my list of the top five ways to keep your mobile users happy.

Big Buttons

Fingers are much less precise than mouse pointers. Make it easier for your mobile subscribers to open and click by making buttons fat finger friendly.

Space Between Clickable Elements

Another problem that arises when you’re using a finger instead of a mouse is clickable elements placed too close together, resulting in mis-clicks. By adding additional white space between clickable elements, you can reduce the likelihood that users will find themselves waiting for the wrong page to load.

Important Information Visible Without Scrolling or Enlarging

When you have dozens of emails to catch up on, it’s important that you are able to grasp the main idea quickly. Test your email messages on a mobile device to ensure that font sizes are readable and that the user doesn’t have to scroll either vertically or horizontally to see your main message and call to action.

Single Columns

HTML is much less flexible than CSS when it comes to re-ordering columns and content blocks. Make it easy on yourself and on your subscribers by sticking to a single column that will display appropriately on a mobile screen.

Hide Unnecessary Content

It’s great to include social sharing buttons, links to your social media pages, and other secondary content in your email messages. But on a mobile device, all that extra content makes it more difficult for your subscribers to get the main message. Make mobile emails easier to scan and read by hiding images, text, and other content that isn’t strictly necessary.

As you’re designing new email campaigns for 2012, eConnect Email offers flexible design options, image management, templates, and inbox previews to help ensure that each message displays exactly as intended. By catering to the unique needs of mobile users, you can ensure that an increasingly mobile audience will continue to read and interact with your messages.

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