5 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Your Site For Mobile

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Designing Your Site For Mobile

A responsive site is mobile-friendly, but if you want to generate quality leads, your mobile design must consider the way users move around your site. As more and more brands invest in switching to a mobile-friendly experience, here are the most common mobile UX issues that we’ve seen this year. Avoiding these mistakes when designing for mobile will help to improve your visitor’s experience on the site.

1. Obtrusive marketing pop-ups on mobile

Pop-up lead capture forms and email sign-ups hijack a user’s screen and abruptly interrupt the user experience of a site. We see this happening all too often, and, not only is it annoying, but Google will now penalize you for it.

Here is an image provided by Google Webmasters depicting the most common interstitials that hinder the user’s ability to access content:

It is okay to use pop-up banners that do not completely take over the user experience and that show how they can be closed. In contrast to the above, Google Webmasters have provided an example of this that would not be penalized:


A good rule of thumb is to put yourself in the user’s shoes. If you were on the site, would you be frustrated by this pop-up? Aim to create an experience that, at every step, builds trust with the user. You want them to feel like you are helping them reach the right purchase decision, instead of just heavily marketing to them.

2. Extended scrolling with no links or CTAs

We see this one a lot. On each page of the site, and each section, the action that you want the user to take should be clear. Include appropriate calls-to-action at the top of the page, bottom of the page, and throughout the page experience. Drop off will not help you generate leads, and a user that scrolls 2-3 screen lengths without an action to take may get bored and leave the site.

Increasing the CTAs on your page can be as simple as hyperlinking anchor text with useful links in a long scrolling paragraph or supplying an email capture for a case study or whitepaper download midway through a page. Using conversion rate optimization tools to view a heat map of page engagement can be a useful tool in deciding where to place your CTAs.

3. No scroll-to-top icon

As simple as it is, a scroll-to-top icon can minimize frustrations from getting stuck too far down a page, and help users navigate the site with ease.

Getting creative with this, especially on eCommerce sites, will add a touch of character that your users will appreciate. I have even seen Anthropologie implement a whimsical hot air balloon.

These icons are a must have if your site’s navigation is not “sticky,” or does not move down the page as the user scrolls. The example below shows a lack of both on the Target site. Once at the bottom of a product category page, a user must manually scroll all the way back to the top to access the menu or search for an item.

4. Missed linking opportunities

Today, users will naturally expect to be able to click on icons, images, and titles to access more content. In many mobile scrolling experiences, an image and copy may come into view before any associated link, button, or other call-to-action. Having the image and any title text also linked to the appropriate page is useful to the user, improves the speed with which they can navigate the site, and helps to eliminate user frustration in instances of buttons on the page being too small or difficult to click. Craftsy, a local Denver company, does this well on their mobile site:

5. Not setting the viewport

Setting the viewport allows your site to be displayed correctly, regardless of the mobile device type that a visitor is using. Configuring the viewport ensures your content can be more readily digested upon site entry, leading to better on-site experiences and boosting the likelihood of positive shopping experiences and conversions.

Keep these mistakes in mind when designing for mobile, and you’ll be well on your way to ensuring that your mobile visitors have an unbeatable user experience. Do you have more questions about optimizing your site for mobile? Contact the SEO team at Volume Nine – we’re here to help!

  • Stephanie BJeanLouis

    I’ve always stressed the importance of a mobile-responsive website for our clients. With 79% of Americans shopping online and 51% of them making purchases via mobile (according to Pew Research Center), companies are losing money from poorly designed mobile sites. Thanks for the helpful tips!

    • Barb Dittert

      We agree! Thanks for your comment, Stephanie – glad you enjoyed the article.