Full day training course offered at Usability Week Washington, D. C.

Mobile Websites and Apps

Essential Usability Principles for Mobile Design

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 smartphones. 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


  • Essential usability principles and design patterns for mobile
  • Recognize good mobile design from bad mobile design
  • Get answers for your mobile strategy
    • App vs. web app vs.mobile website
    • Responsive vs. adaptive design
      • Is responsive design right for you?
      • Responsive-design continuum
  • Determining content and features to include and remove on mobile
  • Usage patterns and activities on mobile devices
  • Getting to the mobile site
  • Basic principles of mobile UX
    • How they compare with desktop design principles
  • Input and the touch screen
    • Typing and how to minimize it
    • Input-field design
  • Form design for mobile
    • Determining page dependencies
    • Reporting errors in mobile forms
  • Login and registration forms
  • Menu patterns for mobile: which work and when
    • Drop-downs, accordions, sliding menus, pull-up menus
    • Contextual and pie menus
  • Carousel design for mobile
  • Navigation patterns
    • Navigation bars,  tab bars, hamburger menus, navigation hubs
    • Sticky navigation
    • Path to content and hierarch depth on mobile
  • Finding information and filtering
    • Search boxes on mobile: should you have one?
    • Search-results guidelines
    • Facets on mobile
    • Filters
      • How to display filters
      • The scrolling problem with filters
  • Displaying long lists
    • Expandable lists, pages, infinite scrolling
  • Location listings
  • Maps
  • Content: Presenting text, images, and videos:
    • Comprehension on mobile
    • Inverted pyramid
    • Layered content and mini-IAs
    • Back referencing and product comparisons on mobile
  • How to conduct mobile usability studies

Free Material with Course Attendance

Nielsen Norman Group Mobile Website & Applications Usability report.


The basis of the course is a lecture format with a couple of 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

Attendee Feedback

"Go into this course with ego left at the door. This course gives you another way at looking at development. When you leave this course be willing to apply some of these techniques right away."
"This course will prepare you to start making usability decisions from a mobile-centric perspective. Knowledge gained about mobile limitations."
"The content was thought provoking. I am leaving today with so much to consider and do."

Companion Course

Mobile Apps for Touchscreens is a companion course to Mobile Websites and Apps. Each course can be taken independently. Mobile Apps for Touchscreens covers:

  • Best practices for designing touch-specific apps
  • Considerations and solutions for various screen sizes
  • Implications of different platforms on the design


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