With mobile and tablet usage con­tin­u­ing to rise, you know mobile is key to suc­cess. But are you still wrap­ping your head around how to define, imple­ment, and opti­mize your business’s mobile mar­ket­ing strategy?

Just in – results from the Adobe 2012 Mobile Con­sumer Sur­vey show that con­sumers are using their smart­phones and tablet devices to con­nect with brands, but there is sig­nif­i­cant room for improve­ment in the user expe­ri­ence. Par­tic­i­pants shared their user expe­ri­ence (UX) when con­duct­ing mobile activ­i­ties for both mobile web­sites and appli­ca­tions in five busi­ness cat­e­gories: media and enter­tain­ment, travel ser­vices, finan­cial ser­vices, shop­ping for con­sumer prod­ucts, and shop­ping for con­sumer elec­tron­ics. Sur­vey responses from 1,200 mobile users reveal that:

  • Android devices lead the way in over­all pop­u­lar­ity at 51%, fol­lowed by iPhones at 38%. The num­bers for Android devices skewed even higher for the young age group at 58%. As the most pop­u­lar plat­form for young con­sumers, you must ensure that your sites are as opti­mized for apps and web brows­ing via Android devices as they are for iOS devices

  • For con­sumers who own both a smart­phone and tablet, the pri­mary device is still the smart­phone (88%). How­ever, recent Adobe Dig­i­tal Index analy­sis antic­i­pates that tablet vis­its will sur­pass smart­phone vis­its by early 2013 and gen­er­ate more than 10% of over­all web­site vis­its in 2014. Design­ing for the tablet expe­ri­ence is quickly becom­ing a neces­sity to max­i­mize con­ver­sions. Tablet users also appear to be slightly more valu­able con­sumers – iPad users (62%) and Android tablet users (56%) reported spend­ing more than $250 on con­sumer prod­ucts via their devices over the past 12 months, com­pared to 58% of iPhone users and 53% of Android smart­phone users.
  • In all cat­e­gories, con­sumers iden­ti­fied speed and ease of nav­i­ga­tion as the top two oppor­tu­ni­ties for improve­ment in their mobile experience.
  • Mobile web­site or mobile app? Con­sumers shop­ping on their mobile devices pre­fer doing so on a web­site due to convenience/ease (39%) and more fea­tures (21%).
  • Over 35% of mobile shop­pers said prod­uct side-by-side com­par­isons, zoom/pan, video would increase the like­li­hood to make a pur­chase on their device.

So, as you add mobile-optimized imple­men­ta­tions, con­sider these best prac­tices in UX design:

Reduce touch events to con­ver­sion. Under­stand the busi­ness goals and key per­for­mance indi­ca­tors (KPIs) you are dri­ving toward with your mobile efforts. Keep these in mind and design the mobile expe­ri­ence with the path of least resis­tance to achieve­ment. Con­ver­sion should occur within three touch events — two will be table stakes in the near future.

Design for mobile inter­ac­tions. The tablet and smart­phone user expe­ri­ence needs to focus on touch-driven con­trols as the pri­mary vis­i­tor inter­ac­tion, rather than mouse clicks and key­board con­trols. Take advan­tage of mobile dis­play con­trols such as fin­ger swipe, touch, drag, pinch, and zoom. Use sim­ple, large but­tons to des­ig­nate inter­ac­tions and nav­i­ga­tion, such as a large shop­ping cart or video play but­ton. If design­ing for mobile retail, incor­po­rate rich prod­uct visu­al­iza­tion that is opti­mized for device type. Shift the user expe­ri­ence focus to embed­ded, large-viewer or full-screen inter­ac­tive zoom and pan, 360-degree spin, and enhanced video functionality.

Opti­mize for speed. Even a one-second delay in mobile page load time equals 7% loss in conversion, according to the Aberdeen Group. Lighten the load on a mobile-optimized web­site by incor­po­rat­ing dynamic media con­tent – images, video, and cam­paign ban­ners – that auto­mat­i­cally adjusts con­tent size, res­o­lu­tion, and for­mat deliv­ery based on the device plat­form and net­work detection.

Make con­tent “find­abil­ity” easy. Mobile users have high intent. Major­ity of them use search before they do any­thing else on m-commerce sites, mak­ing mobile site search opti­miza­tion cru­cial. Use explicit nav­i­ga­tional cues for easy brows­ing. Imple­ment auto-suggest and auto-correct in search input boxes to address the dif­fi­culty of mobile typ­ing. Pro­vide the most com­pelling, rel­e­vant top-search results opti­mized for screen size and location.

For more on the Adobe 2012 Mobile Con­sumer Sur­vey, down­load the full report