Get Digital Marketing News, Tips, Strategies & More

So, how does your audience hold their mobile device?

At first glance, this question may sound ridiculous. But with so much focus shifting to mobile convenience, shouldn’t we care about the positioning of one’s hand while searching the web? I say yes, yes we should.

With all of the effort that goes into creating a great user experience for every device, we should be able to get the most out of it. After all, consumers today have seen some pretty impressive technology; any chance to impress someone with your online presence is worth the trouble.

To answer the critical question of what the most dominant phone-holding position is, I turned to who I can trust: The Element 74 team.

The more I surveyed, I quickly realized that the way you hold your phone differs by what you’re trying to achieve with it. So, I broke down the most common ways users (our staff) hold their phones while accomplishing different online tasks to help you better setup your responsive site for optimal hand positioning.

#1 The Skimmer

When looking through social media feeds or visually-focused media, users take a more relaxed one-handed approach. Since most social sites are usually less content heavy and more about entertainment, it’s the most laidback activity you can participate in mobile-wise. Really, the only movement involved is scrolling up or down, so it’s easy to guess where your audience’s fingers will fall!

If you have a website that is centered around visual material, your best bet is keeping it on the straight and narrow. Give your audience one thing to view at a time to increase the impact and overall acknowledgment from the user, and leave them some wiggle room on both sides of the screen.

#2 The Cradler

When someone is making an online decision like a purchase, or reading something like news or an article; they tend to cradle their phone in their hands, and use their thumbs for navigation. This may be due to deep thought, concern or excitement; but either way, it’s the holding position that gives a user the most control, and gives you the most flexibility with your website’s design and layout.

If you have an online store, a blog or a news resource, chances are most of your users are “cradlers”. This means you have the freedom to have a little more for a user to see at once. Clean side bars and grid layouts look great, and won’t get in the way like they would for someone quickly skimming through.

#3 The Presenter

We’ve all done it; you hold up your phone to show someone an article, picture or product they HAVE to see. Subsequently, you hold your phone in one hand, and use your pointer finger as a guide. This does mean more flexibility and range for the user, but with their focus elsewhere, it also makes it easy for a user to accidentally press something as well.

If you have an online presence that is entertaining, controversial or comical; chances are someone is going to “present” your content a time or two! This means you should make commonly used links and buttons a little larger and easy to see/navigate. Less frustration for the user, and bold call to action’s (CTA’s) for your website; it’s a win-win!


Alright, we’ll admit it: Some of this post was more for fun than strategy. But with how fast the digital world changes, advances, transitions and so on; you have to start thinking outside of the box to provide an unforgettable online experience that will ultimately win you more conversions.

Get going!

Look at your website on multiple devices. Do your CTA’s stand out? Are there things that seem like they’re in the way? Is it easy to find what you’re looking for? It’s all about knowing your audience and your site’s purpose. If this sounds like a lot of work for a website, you’re right, but it’s beyond valuable. Your website is the most important selling tool you have; so, it’s time to pay attention to the little things! Including fingers.

Cindy Knebel

About the Author

Cindy Knebel
Cindy is a former Element 74 Project Manager and contributing author for the Element 74 blog.

Share your thought

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *