Steven Hoober interview: Mobile UX and the importance of usability research

steven hoober gpec

User experience on mobile is still something that online business owners need to research and optimize. Mobile UX expert Steven Hoober is known internationally for his continuous research in mobile user experience and for implementing mobile interfaces for Google,, Samsung and Hallmark. After his presentation at GPeC Summit – May 2019, we sat down to talk to him about ”doing things the right way”.

To sum up his presentation, Steven says that businesses should be data driven, realize that ”mobile is already here” and stop using desktop paradigms on mobile platforms. We find out that there are several guidelines (dating back to the ‘90s!) for organizing content on mobile phones based on real research, some of it done by Steven himself.

When building UX and designing an online shop for mobile, brands need to ”be user-centric”, they have to focus on the design depending on how people read the screen on desktop versus how they read on mobile. On desktop, people read just like on paper, from top to bottom, while on mobile they focus on the centre of the screen first. Businesses should pay attention to this kind of behaviour and do more usability research, that means going out in the field, observe how people shop and interact with the in-store staff, what questions they ask and how they make decisions when buying a certain product. After gathering all the qualitative and quantitative data from the research and after checking the analytics for the website, online shops should learn from them in order to make their digital experience more human.

Steven warns against major mistakes that people do when conducting research. One of them is conducting research with focus groups or doing surveys, since these “are highly dependable on the interviewer being good at their job and not leading the question astray”. What he suggests brands should be doing is observational research, the type in which they let and watch people interact directly with their product, without interfering.

Since Western Europe has already transitioned to mobile apps, Steven would like to see more mobile websites in the Eastern Europe market that will soon extend to an app, talking in particular about big brands that can afford to sustain a mobile app on the long term.

Find out the details of Steven Hoober’s research experience and more advice on Mobile UX in the full video interview on YouTube. Don’t forget to subscribe to the GPeC YouTube Channel for more interviews, insights and live transmissions.


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