Usability for mobile is more about how it feels and behaves than how it looks. People use fingers to interact with the screen, in difference with the traditional desktop experience with a mouse and keyboard. This means mobile is more about how it feels rather than how it looks.
People interact with their screens, the same way they do with tangible objects. Comfort is king when it comes to mobile experiences. Nobody wants to sit in an uncomfortable chair– the same goes for mobile products, nobody wants to use an app that causes discomfort or feels awkward to navigate.
How people use mobile devices?
Steven Hoober conducted extensive research on how people hold and use their phones. You can find it in the article
What works for mobile devices?
We have all these variations of sizes and the way people use them. It’s simply not one size fits all, however, there are several principles we can take into consideration to improve mobile usability:
1. Understand your users
We as designers tend to think that everybody is the same, and uses devices the same way. We need to try and avoid those assumptions.
Also, we tend to think that user research is permanent, however, this is not true. Users are changing, technologies are changing and the behaviour of the users will vary.
As I stated above, Hoober established the six ways users hold a smartphone, your users may use in one of the less common ways. If your product is made for elderly people to log their medications it will most likely have a unique requirement of how they hold the device. Different demographics use products differently and this may affect how they hold and see a mobile device, a very important note to take as designers.
You need to ensure that the end user needs are met with the main content reveal, and then add controls to allow the user to dig a bit deeper if they want to.