Designing a website for thumbs: An ultimate guide to mobile interface design

Designing a website for thumbs: An ultimate guide to mobile interface design

Aug 19, 2017, 6:00:54 PM Business

If there is one thing that will stand through the time in relation with mobile devices, it’s the use of thumb. Thumb zone in the design and development of mobile interfaces is considered a very important factors and actually decides the usability in an event of a responsive website design.

Have you ever interacted with a mobile phone that lets you stretch your thumb as you scroll websites on it? Mishaps such as these reveal that there is a lack of knowledge and customer usability in the design team. A professional website design service in Dubai can guide clients upon the thumb zone in a much better way.

Steve Hoobers; the author of UX Matters has emphasized about the thumb zone in his writings regarding designing mobile interfaces. This is exactly where I first found out about its importance and researched why is it an imperative factor to be considered while creating website designs for mobile devices.

So, let’s get started with few findings that I found out in my research for the importance of thumbs in website interface design.

Thumbs vs touch screens

Thumbs are the key to how we interact with a website design on mobile phones. Hoober’s research showed that 49% people hold their smart phones in one hand while browsing, relying heavily on thumbs to do the scrolling and clicking. Another study took this number even further claiming that almost 75% of web interactions on mobile phones are thumb driven.

With this assumption in mind we can conclude that certain areas of thumb movement applies to most smart phones. We will define these areas as easy to reach, hardtop reach and in the middle areas.

The trick is to create a website design according to the flow of the thumb zone. This provides a framework to create better website design for mobile interfaces, that are more user friendly and easily accessible via thumb’s reach.

Navigation problems

Some time back mobile navigations were a simple dropdown list of links. Not too pretty to look at but got the job done. Today things are different. I suggest business owners to ask questions like: does my website has a long list of products to offer? Do I need to have sub-navigations? The answers to all these questions will help you in determining where to place your navigational triggers and hooks.

For businesses targeting mobile websites the screen overlay menu works best. This type of menu affords space for you to organize the list of navigation pages and subpages, social media buttons and other useful content if any. This pattern also resonates well between desktop computer systems and mobile devices and provides the opportunity to align clickable elements within the thumb zone.

Just in case if you have a large website with a lot pages and information, mixing menus would be the better choice to make. In the mixing menu technique, the navigation pages are prioritized based on their importance. Sticky menus are great for commonly visited links, whereas full-screen and drawer menus come in handy for important but not high-priority links.

Gestures and movement

Gestures enable us to engage in technology with the sense of touch. Website design companies in Dubai who design professional website designs keep the natural gestures of thumb in mind while creating website designs. it is imperative to let the users use their thumbs naturally, without having to over stretch it to reach the corners. Only a professional designer can calculate where the natural movement will happen.

The smart takeaways here are:

  • keep swipe gestures out of hard-to-reach areas
  • provide enough tapping space;
  • allow swipes to start anywhere in each email block element.

With the above mentioned principles I am sure you will be able to create a better user experiences for your mobile website visitors. Get in touch with the website design company in Dubai to get a custom quote for your mobile website design.


Published by Alisia Watson

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