Does Your Mobile Web Design Fit In The Thumb Zone?
Mobile web design continues to evolve, as adding more functionality into smaller spaces becomes more important every day. As the use of smartphones skyrockets, the big challenge that web design services now face is how to create the most interactive site using today’s available touch screen technology. The answer lies in the study of touch gesture control and an understanding of the thumb zone.
Touch Gesture Control and the Thumb Zone
Every web design expert knows that smartphones are controlled by touch; however, not every website designed for mobile utilizes gesture control. Gesture control is a series of commands made with the fingers that allow the user to have greater control over the site. Examples of gesture control are spread and pinch functions, drag and flick, and others. To some, these functions are unnecessary, while to others they are an important inclusion to provide total website control for the user. These two types of function do have one thing in common: the need for site design to acknowledge the thumb zone.
What Is the Thumb Zone?
Quite simply, the thumb zone is the area on any smartphone that is comfortably reachable by using only the thumb. Research on the topic suggests that most people use their phones with one hand and with their thumb to navigate around whenever possible. Based on this information, this suggests that web design services need to concentrate on keeping the most important links and functions on their sites within the thumb zone for the site to be as user-friendly as possible. When users are forced to stretch beyond the reach of their thumbs or navigate holding their phone with two hands, a reduction in site effectiveness is noted.
Where Is the Thumb Zone Located?
The thumb zone differs based on the user, a detail that can make web design for mobile a bit challenging in this respect. While the main thumb zone is an elliptical area that encompasses most of the center of the screen from two-fifths of the way from the top all the way to the bottom. There are additional zones that left and right handed users can access accordingly. This suggests that the most important functions should lay within the main zone, while other lesser-used functions could be set into the upper right and left of the main thumb zone.
Navigating in the Thumb Zone
The point of knowing about the thumb zone is to create an intuitive, user-friendly website that will generate the good use results. To take advantage of this functionality, web design services must take advantage of that valuable screen real estate by prioritizing site function, then finding ways to put navigational options within the thumb zone. This can be done in a number of ways such as screen overlays, bottom menus, drawer menus, and menu cards. In addition, designers must also consider if their site will use touch gesture control and if so, put that into the thumb zone as well.
By knowing how most people enjoy navigating with their mobile phones, the concept of creating an effective web design controlled from within the thumb zone is significant. This vital area on any smartphone screen gives users the most control over websites that take this layout into consideration, improving user-friendliness and website effectiveness. To produce the most intuitive, easily-navigated mobile site, web design services must consider the thumb zone and how it relates to both gesture control and general site navigation!