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It’s good practice to have a dedicated download section if a website is for a business that provides a lot of technical information for download. Especially B2B websites use the websites as a resource for providing access to brochures, drawings, etc.

But in this mobile first times even B2B sites get accessed by mobile devices and downloading a file to that device is not always the best experience. Here are 5 tips for a better User Experience

1) Include a “Send Brochure to Email” Button
I often find information I want to read later when I’m at my computer – the ability to send it to my email account is an easy way to remember me to read it and I know where i can find the brochure – in the email.

2) Provide links to PDF-readers
Adobe has extended it’s free Acrobat Reader series to mobile devices, but unlike the desktops not all smart phones users have installed them. It’s much like a years ago where every website had a link to the download section of Adobe Acrobat – just now the links are for the app stores. Here are the links to the current versions:
- Adobe Reader for Android – Access PDF files on the go: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.adobe.reader
- Adobe Reader X for iOS – Access PDF files on the go: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=469337564&mt=8

3) Use a third party service like Isuuu
I used Isuuu on many websites. Mostly where the business had a publication or catalog they wanted to make readable on the web without transferring all the content to the website. The causes might be workflow related or just because it was just cheaper.

Issue has redesigned it’s online reading experience beyond their flash player to HTML5 and makes it accessible this way to mobile devices and tablets.

4) Give an alternative URL
If the brochures just are other versions of the content already present on the website you might just publish a link and a note to direct them to that page.

5) Don’t get rid of the download section
If none of the above solutions work for you don’t just get rid of the section. Visitors might know your site from the desktop version and expect to find the download section. Just have the section with some copy stating that you don’t provide downloads in the mobile version with a link to the full website. I people really want to get to the downloads they can reach it.

This are just a couple of examples and it would be great to hear other ideas – what are your solutions?
#UX #mobile #webdesign

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