Full day training course

Mobile User Experience

Essential UX design principles for small-screen websites and apps

It’s time to (re)design your mobile site or app, because your existing version is probably far below users’ growing expectations. Get the core principles for designing effective mobile user interfaces on touchphones and tablets. Learn how to derive your own mobile guidelines.

This course is ideal for people who are new to mobile design, have some limited experience in designing mobile interfaces, or for those with experience who want to brush up on the basics. If your organization is entering the mobile space and you need confirmation on well-defined mobile standards, then this course is for you.

"I went into the course with very little knowledge about mobile app design. This course provided a great amount of practical information on a broad range of elements, all backed up with great examples."

Steve Seguin

Topics Covered

Topics Covered

  • Essential usability principles and design patterns for mobile
  • Recognize good mobile design from bad mobile design
  • Mobile-design strategy
    • App, website, responsive design, adaptive design?
      • Relative advantages and disadvantages of each
    • When it pays off to have an app
    • Hybrid apps, web apps
    • Device differences: Android v. iPhone v. Windows Phone 7
      • Implications of different platforms on design
  • Input and typing on the touchscreen
    • Touch target: size and affordances
    • Flat design
    • Accidental touches and the back button
    • Input-field design
  • Form design
    • Registration and login forms 
    • Locator tools
    • Errors in forms
  • Navigation and search
    • Web and app patterns
    • Sliding menus, contextual menus, tab bars, navigation bars
    • Hidden navigation or search
    • Carousels and horizontal navigation
    • Filters and facets
    • Location listings
  • Workflow and path to content
    • Button placement
    • Guiding users through “steps”
  • Fragmenting the screen:
    • Modal dialogs, split views, multipane screens, popovers
  • Gestures and multi-touch
    • Gesture affordances and familiarity
    • Progressive disclosure and gesture overload
    • Swipe ambiguity
  • Content: Text, images and videos
    • Comprehension on mobile
    • Mini-Information Architecture (mini-IA) and layered content
    • Tasks that are hard on mobile

Free Material with Course Attendance

Nielsen Norman Group Mobile Website & Applications Usability report.



The basis of the course is a lecture format with a few group exercises to reinforce the learned principles and guidelines.
The course also includes:

  • Findings from our own usability studies
  • Videos from usability testing of people's behavior in response to a mobile design
  • Screenshots of mobile designs that work and don’t work, and why
  • Opportunities to ask questions and get answers

Companion Course

Companion Course

Scaling User Interfaces is a companion course to Mobile User Experience. Each course can be taken independently. Scaling User Interfaces covers:

  • Learn what’s important when adapting designs for different device sizes, screen sizes, input styles, output styles, and context of use.
  • What content makes sense? How should navigation change across different screens? What should be the same and what should be different?
  • Review design similarities and differences across platforms and analyze the usability of many popular responsive-design patterns.



Raluca Budiu

Raluca Budiu is a Senior Researcher with Nielsen Norman Group. At NN/g she consults for clients from a variety of industries and presents tutorials on mobile and tablet usability, cognitive psychology for designers, and principles of human computer interaction. She coauthored the NN/g reports on tablet usability, mobile usability, iPad usability, and the usability of children's websites, and the book "Mobile Usability". Raluca also served as a judge for GSMA Global Mobile Awards 2012-2014 and Tabby Awards 2013. She holds a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University. Read more about Raluca

Amy Schade

Amy Schade works with clients large and small in a variety of industries such as telecommunications, e-commerce, government, travel, automotive, music, publishing, banking, non-profit and education, including extensive work on corporate intranets. She has conducted worldwide user research, including longitudinal studies, remote studies and eyetracking research, running studies in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. Read more about Amy

Currently Scheduled

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Apply this course toward UX Certification