We find it quite surprising that so often we see really nicely designed websites that haven’t been optimised or device tested across a range of devices.

More often than not, most users will view their website in the framework that they are most accustomed to. For example, the MD of a business may run a mac note book and iPhone 7. When they come to reviewing their website they may note that it formats correctly on their notebook and iPhone. This is all fine, however if the site hasn’t been device tested correctly then its extremely likely that the site may not be formatting correctly on other devices.

The way of the web as we continue to outline is becoming forever more competitive. We have to recognise that any products being released on to the web need to be tested thoroughly on multiple browsers and devices. In recent study it is suggested that many web users will identify problems within your website but its unlikely that they will notify you of these.

Anna Dahlström a UX expert recently said;

“Device compatibility is a right not a privilege, and getting it wrong is a form of neglectful discrimination.”

In this post we are going to explore cross device compatibility in more detail and why its so important.

The Basics

Quite simply you need to ensure that your site has been tested across multiple browsers and multiple devices. From mobile right through to desktop computers, from Safari to Internet explorer.

Responsive web design is not the answer to all your problems. Sorry if we’ve just burst the bubble. Far too often we see a great mobile responsive experience, however if that only works on a couple of devices then its close to pointless. Mobile experience is built around so much more than it being responsive and displaying correctly on the device. You need to ensure you deliver the primary content, quickly, well formatted and have consistent formatting across all devices.

Understand the problem

Website optimisation isn’t always around SEO. Website optimisation focusing on UX (user experience) will take you down a much deeper user investigation. Starting to understand key site metrics from the analytics, goals and targets, device usage and user flows.

Analytic data coupled with UX (user experience) research is practically like finding gold. This information will prove to be invaluable in developing your website.

Think like a user

Not everything is black and white. We know that it is unlikely that a user will complete a sale on the first time they arrive to a website. We also know that this is even more the case for users who will browse on a mobile. Take this scenario, a user is browsing on their mobile, they find something they like within your Ecommerce store, decide they will check out on their tablet later as the UX will be easier. If you were to review this in your analytics then actually it would be very hard to recognise this pattern. However if you track the user, an option within Google Analytics then you would allow you to credit this conversion to the correct device.

Understanding Analytics

Not every user will own an iPhone. Google analytics will group any iPhone model together. This can out weigh the actual data and what its telling you. When reviewing analytics make sure you are able to filter and split devices by operating system or platform. This will give you a better insight into the mobile data.

Tracking real speed

Study has shown that there is significant correlation between site performance (speed) and conversion rate. DOM timings report will give you a good understanding how long your pages are taking to load. Improving site speed will have reap huge rewards for the success of your website.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Its worthwhile having a good insight into what it is you are going to test. If you are going to run some user testing then start at the beginning. Have we got the basics right? Good question, is my site functioning well across all platforms and generating conversion on a monthly basis? Is the answer to this is yes then its worthwhile reviewing the data and identifying areas to look to improve. There are so many UX testing methods out there, if you tried them all, you would have some success. Just changing stuff at will wont have the desired results and will be very time consuming.

Listen to your data

Your data is the most realistic insight you have to your website. Analytics should be used to forecast any tests that you are looking to implement. Benchmarks should be recorded and A/B testing should be fully justified before diving in with a campaign.

Grey Coffee offers UX Web Design, UX Analysis and UX Digital Consultancy to businesses in Nottingham and all over the UK.

We are happy to talk through any new projects or how we can support your business needs.

If you would like to get in touch with us, then email us or call us 0115 798 0699