Mobile usability refers to the ease with which people can accomplish tasks on smartphones or tablets. A good mobile experience enables people to do the same things they do on a desktop computer while considering mobile devices’ constraints, including:  

  • Smaller screen sizes than desktop computers 

  • The absence of a dedicated keyboard and mouse, which requires users to use their fingers to interact with the screen 

  • Limited internet connectivity or bandwidth  

Across different mobile devices, the look and feel of an unemployment insurance (UI) application and site may change depending on the screen size, but its functionality and usability should remain the same regardless of the screen size, operating system, data plan, or available internet bandwidth. Mobile usability is not a binary; websites can range from unusable to very easy to use. 

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) has compiled best practices states can implement to address common challenges related to mobile usability. Your state UI agency can use this resource to inform and support iterative improvements to the claimant experience as well as entire redesigns of UI application and site. 

DOL recommends customer experience improvements that prioritize understanding claimant needs and pain points to increase claimants' access to benefits for which they’re eligible; these improvements will also help to increase states’ efficiency. The best way to ensure your state UI agency builds and maintains a good mobile experience is by conducting user research and usability testing that includes different devices, operating systems, browsers, and assistive technologies.


About this resource 

This guide provides actionable recommendations across the following three areas: 

Layout icon (four equal squares arranged to look like a bigger square).

Layout improvements

Changes to your site’s layout that support mobile usability



Text and type icon (two letters T, one smaller than the other).

Type and text improvements 

 Changes to type and text that support mobile usability



Form icon (squares and rectangles organized in a way that look like questions and answers on a paper form).

Form design improvements 

Changes to forms to support mobile usability