5 Limitations when designing for Mobile

Mobile design

Mobile design

Though designing for desktop computers include multiple complicated tasks, designing for mobile may even more time-consuming. On the new platform of mobile which is much more different from desktop, mobile designers have to face a set of limitation, as discussed below.

 1. Less context

As the screen shrinks from large desktop screen to tiny mobile device, the showing content reduces. Then the problem arises: there is the lack of the whole page overview. This challenges users when they try to input data based on the context, previously entered information or various options. This problem can be solved if mobile designers succeed in creating a screen summary, or keep the important contents visible when users scroll down. But it is another story, and experts in mobile design are still working hard for this.

 2. Inaccurate clicks

People call this “fat finger problem” – the situation when a user click the screen by a finger but the touching element is too small for him to click exactly. It annoys users as they have to correct the wrong clicks, causes inconveniences and wastes their time. Whereas, for mobile designers, it is such a challenge when they have to burn the candle at both ends: trying to show as much information as possible on the small screen, while increasing the accuracy of users’ touch.


There have been some suggested solutions for this problem, such as to ask a user to confirm their action. However, this further step may interrupt users if required frequently.

3. Slow hardware

The issue of slow hardware happens in two situations: the first one is slow page load, and the second one is lagging transition or animations. In both cases, this issue destroys users’ sense of virtual space – one kind of inconvenience similar to two situations mentioned above. This limitation can be removed with good programming rather than designing per se.

4. Usage situation

The distraction from both the real world and from another application is inevitable, but it can be smooth out as if there was no interruption. Thus, making it easier for a user to return to your site and immediately pick up where they left off without feeling off is very important. Providing a seamless and continuous experience with your site will ensure the loyalty of those who visit your site frequently.

5. Poor connectivity

Smartphone users are facing with either no connection or slow download speed problems. Some mobile developers or designers try to solve this issue as gracefully as possible. For example, they design a friendly interface appearing when there is no connection, carry out aggressive asset caching, or use CSS3 effects instead of images, etc. However, the best solution is to lower the site’s download footprint, which is quite tricky for developers and designers to implement.

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5 Limitations when designing for Mobile at: November 3rd, 2016 by Huy Do