One of the most important aspects of a great user experience is consistency. This means that users should be able to move between different devices and still have the same overall experience.
An inconsistent user experience can lead to frustration and, ultimately, to a total loss of interest in your product.
Here is how to improve the user experience by using consistency across desktop and mobile.
1. What is user experience?
Before we dive into how to improve the user experience, let’s first define what it is. User experience (UX) refers to a person’s feelings and emotions when using a product or service.
It goes beyond the visual design of a product and includes factors such as usability, functionality, and even the emotional reaction that a person has when using it. In other words, UX encompasses the entire experience that a person has with a product.
Good UX leads to happy users who are more likely to keep using a product. On the other hand, bad UX can lead to frustration and even abandonment of a product altogether. That’s why it’s so important to get it right.
There are many factors that contribute to a great user experience. But one of the most important is consistency.
2. What is consistency?
Consistency refers to the idea that users should have the same overall experience regardless of which device they are using.
This means that if a user is moving from a desktop computer to a mobile phone, they should still be able to complete the same tasks and access the same information. The user interface (UI) should be similar across devices, and the overall experience should be seamless.
3. Types of consistency
There are a few different types of consistency that are important when it comes to user experience. These include visual, functional, internal, and external consistency.
Visual consistency refers to the look and feel of a product across all devices. This includes elements such as colors, typography, layout, and more.
Functional consistency refers to how a product works across all devices. This includes factors such as how users navigate the product, how they input information, and more.
Internal consistency refers to the way that a company’s internal systems work together. This includes things like customer support, billing, and other back-end processes.
External consistency refers to the way that a company’s products work with other products and services. This includes integrations with third-party apps and services, as well as compatibility with different devices and operating systems.
4. Why is consistency so important?
There are several reasons why consistency is so important for UX.
First, it helps to reduce cognitive load. This refers to the amount of mental effort that a person has to expend in order to use a product.
If the experience is consistent, it will be easier for users to understand how to use the product. They won’t have to waste time trying to figure out how things work on different devices.
Second, consistency helps to build trust. When users know what to expect, they are more likely to trust a product.
If the experience is not consistent, it can erode trust and lead to frustration. Finally, consistency helps users feel in control. If the experience is familiar and predictable, users will feel like they are in control of the situation.
On the other hand, if the experience is inconsistent, it can lead to feelings of anxiety and uncertainty.
5. Focus on differences between desktop and mobile users
When you are thinking about how to make your product consistent, it is important to focus on the differences between desktop and mobile users.
What do they need from the experience? What are their goals? How do they interact with the product differently?
Answering these questions will help you understand what needs to be changed in order to make the experience more consistent.
User tendencies, dislikes, and interests can be crucial in solving this issue. Identifying these features will quickly make your decision-making process more effective in the long term.
Some features could be available on both devices. For instance, a search function. However, the mobile version might be used more for discovery, while the desktop version is used more for specific searches.
It is important to take these differences into account when you are designing your product.
6. Think about the user journey
Another important aspect of consistency is the user journey. This is the path that users take when they are using your product.
If the users have to relearn how to use your app on different devices, they will be more likely to give up on your app altogether.
It is important to think about how users move between different devices and what their goals are at each stage.
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For example, a customer might start their journey on a desktop computer by looking at products on your website. Then, they might switch to their mobile phone to compare prices or read reviews.
Finally, they might make a purchase on their tablet or desktop computer.
By thinking about the journey that users are taking, you can ensure that your product is consistent across all these devices. This will help to improve the user experience and ultimately drive more sales or sign-ups.
7. Brand by cross-channel
Many companies make the mistake of thinking that they only need to focus on their website when it comes to consistency.
However, it is important to think about all the different channels that users might be using – such as social media, email, and even physical stores.
Your brand should be consistent across all these channels. This means using the same logo, colors, and tone of voice.
If you are inconsistent with your branding, it will be more difficult for users to recognize your company. This can lead to them forgetting about you or even choosing one of your competitors.
It is also important to think about how you can use different channels to complement each other. For example, you could use social media to drive traffic to your website.
By thinking about how to use different channels effectively, you can improve the user experience and ultimately boost your bottom line.
8. Implement recognizable patterns
When you are designing your product, it is important to use recognizable patterns. This means using familiar layouts, colors, and icons.
If you use these familiar patterns, users will be able to quickly understand how to use your product.
This is especially important on mobile devices, where users might only have a few seconds to figure out how to use your app.
If they can’t figure it out quickly, they are likely to give up and delete your app.
There are many different design patterns that you can use – such as hamburger menus, carousels, and cards.
Do some research and find the patterns that work best for your product. Then, make sure that you use these patterns consistently across all your devices.
9. Don’t forget about content
One of the most important aspects of a great user experience is the content. The content on your website or app needs to be easy to read and understand, no matter what device someone is using.
This means that you need to design for different screen sizes and make sure that the overall layout is easy to navigate.
It can be helpful to create separate mobile and desktop versions of your content. This way, you can ensure that each piece of content is optimized for the specific device it will be viewed on.
Tips on how to improve UX with consistency
There are several things that you can do to improve the user experience by using consistency across devices.
Pick a color scheme
The first thing you can do is to pick a color scheme or theme that you can use across all your devices. This will make it easier for users to recognize your brand and will help them navigate more effectively through your website or app.
Use similar layouts
Another important way to improve UX with consistency is by using consistent layouts for different elements on each device. For example, you might want to use the hamburger menu icon on both desktop and mobile versions of your site.
Use similar fonts and typography
Another way to maintain consistency is by using similar fonts and typography on each device. This will help create a more cohesive look and feel across your product.
Use the same icons across devices.
You should make sure that you are using the same icons on each device. This will help users to recognize common elements and perform actions more easily.
The final tip is to make sure that you are using the same navigational structure on each device. This means using the same menu items in the same order.
This will help users to find what they are looking for more easily, no matter what device they are using.
If you follow these tips, you can ensure that your product is consistent across all devices. This will help improve the user experience and ultimately drive more sales or sign-ups.
Soon, your users will come to rely on your product for all their online needs.
Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for DigitalStrategyOne.