Is beautiful better than easier? UI Battles

This is what my view looks like this week (This is Patong beach in Phuket).

Beautiful, right? Extremely uncomplicated too. That’s what a beach is – a long stretch of sand and water, and yet it’s so compelling to experience.

Earlier this week Google said that their search engine rankings will not be about mobile compatibility anymore. In fact, things have now turned on their head. Everything has to be made ‘mobile first’. Yep, the best experience of the site has to be on mobile and it should be acceptable¬†on other platforms too.

I’ve known for a while now that most of my visitors are on the mobile. More than 80% right now on my most popular website, yet the word in my head all this while has been ‘responsive’. A user experience that is primarily designed for the PC but looks fine on mobile phones.

For some reason ‘mobile first’ stuck in my head (as it should have stuck quite a while ago) and in between admiring this wonderful view I ran a quick audit of how usable my website is on mobile phones vs my competition.

Now, this site just looks beautiful on the computer. Beautifully designed interface, nice graphics and a beautiful color scheme. Got everything, but as soon as I degraded it to the mobile phones it showed me a row of big buttons laid one below the other.

Responsive!

Technically I could use every single feature but it wasn’t beautiful at all to look at anymore and it wasn’t as it convenient as it used to be on the PC.

I am glad I checked the competition too. They looked absolutely ugly on the PC and not so usable, but on the mobile phone they were still looking ugly but the viewer had to do a lot less scrolling on their site than mine.

Rude shock!

Suddenly, it was clear that what I saw in front of my eyes was a mistake and that was costing me repeat visitors. People would come to this site, not even know they were irritated with the interface and simply decide to select something else the next time.

So I have my new specs up and will be working with a good UI expert very soon to redo the interface of my very expensive site design.

Good lesson, and it’s not expensive because of what I’ve already spent on the design or what I am going to spend now, but because of the growth opportunity that was lost just like that.

One thing is clear — any growth that has to happen is always in the future, so even while you try to cope with the demands of today, you have to prepare for the future.

Mobile first

Is your content site mobile first? Audit it today and share your discovery. I found something I need to change fast, tell me, were you better off?