a woman using her smartphone

Learn how to optimize your self-serve product demos for mobile devices by implementing a mobile-first approach and responsive design for improved user experience and increased BOFU traffic.

You know your product demos are being viewed on mobile, right? All those perfectly crafted and laser targeted email campaigns lead to sleek landing pages and your prize fighter - the super custom, super specific self-serve demo. If prospects aren't impressed yet, they're definitely about to be. 

Or not.

The demo sticks. Doesn't load. Or loads with elements out of place. Or contains popups with teeny tiny 'x' marks that cause users to ferociously jab at their mobile screens, until, frustrated, they give up altogether. Oh I know, you know about popups, so you don't use them. You use hovers instead. Yeah, those don't work (at all) on mobile. 

Design for mobile can be a minefield. 

I won't get mired in the technical details, because, honestly, you're too busy for that, and that's what tools like SmartCue take care of by default. I'm going to give you things that make sense, and that you can incorporate into your demos without having to reinvent the wheel; in order to create mobile-optimized self-serve product demos that knock it out of the park. 

A Mobile-first Approach for Self-serve Product Demos

a hello message on a smartphone

A mobile-first approach for self-serve demos just makes sense - after all, no desktop user is ever going to complain about a smooth, sleek demo being too easy to understand and navigate. 🙄

It also makes for less 'reinventing the wheel'. If you've started from a mobile state of mind, you don't need to rethink (and redo!) anything down the line. The best part is, most of the tenets of a mobile-first approach is common sense in a PLG universe anyway. 

Make it 'Snackable. Assume you only have 3 minutes of the user's time. What's the key message? What is the problem that will impress them most? What's the best and most obvious benefit of your solution? Let these be guiding thoughts. 

Form over function. Always. No one likes a busy screen, or rapid transitions, or loud clicky noises. Just… no. Keep the screen clean, minimize the number of clicks, don't overlap click zones, and if you must use popups, then make them easy to close. 

Touch-friendly design. Avoid fly out menus. Avoid small buttons. Don't use hovers. Think about Thanos, and his hands. Now think of him using an old iPhone, the one with the 5-inch screen. Think about design that doesn't make him snap (really, the fate of the universe hangs in the balance on this one!). If you design for Thanos, the rest of us will do just fine. 

Implementing Responsive Design for Optimized Demos

Responsive design is a little bit of coding magic. It means that your demo is designed to adapt to the screen size and resolution of the device that it's being viewed on. This ensures that the demo is optimized for all devices, including desktops, tablets, and mobile phones. Usually, this involves three key considerations.

A flexible layout

This allows demos to adapt to different screen sizes and resolutions, and a fluid grid system and flexible images means that the demo renders correctly on all devices - without any funny overlaps and stretchy images. 

Optimal mobile demo load times

Even more than on a computer, speed is critical on mobile devices. There's more than enough research that indicates that the magic number is 3 seconds - that's the time you have to get everything loaded up before half your visitors go elsewhere. 

Coding Standards

While speed will help with website ranking (as search engines prioritize websites that load quickly and penalize those that take longer than 5-6 seconds), following the latest and best coding standards is crucial. Not only does this help you with speed, but also cohesion, safety, and better rankings. 

Mobile UX Best Practices for Self-serve Demos

Good design principles translate well across mediums - the same things that make your website experience a good one, will also make your mobile self-serve demo experience a great one. 

  • Keep it simple. The fewer navigation options, the better. Keep the UI as uncluttered as possible, and use a clear hierarchy, easy-to-understand icons, and concise labels to help users find their way around the demo.

  • Avoid tiny, hard-to-tap elements. 

  • Make sure that common gestures like swiping, tapping, and pinching are supported and easy to perform.

  • Use clear headlines, bullet points, and short paragraphs to convey key information.

  • Use clear, high quality visuals. Opt for clean, simple, and relevant graphics that are easy to comprehend on a small screen.

  • Reduce the barriers to entry by minimizing the number of steps required to start using the demo. Maybe offer a quick tutorial or guided tour to help users get going.

  • Enable offline access so poor connectivity doesn't get in the way. 

  • Make it shareable by including social sharing buttons. 

And finally, collect data on how users interact with your demo, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary adjustments to optimize the experience. Implementing A/B testing for mobile demos can be particularly helpful in refining your demo to better meet user needs and preferences.

SmartCue's Smart Testing & Optimization Tips for Mobile Self-serve Demos

We like finding bugs - every little critter we find is one less critter the audience sees. IMHO, your test plan needs to include: 

  • Cross-device testing for product demos: including different types of mobile phones and tablets, to ensure that it looks and works well on all devices. Additionally, testing on different devices and operating systems can help identify any compatibility issues that need to be addressed.

  • Testing in different environments: such as indoors and outdoors, to ensure that it works properly in different lighting and network conditions. Mobile users may be accessing the demo in a variety of locations, so it's important to test the demo in different settings to ensure it performs well and delivers a consistent experience. 

  • Test with real users: to understand how they interact with your demo and to identify any pain points or areas for improvement. 

  • Use automated testing tools: to perform repetitive tasks, like checking for broken links, validating code, or ensuring that your demo is responsive on various devices. It's faster, and brings about more consistent testing results.

  • Conduct accessibility testing: to ensure that your demo is accessible to users with disabilities by conducting accessibility testing. This includes checking for proper color contrast, keyboard navigation, screen reader compatibility, and more.

  • Perform load testing: to ensure your demo can handle a large number of users by simulating high traffic conditions. This will help you identify and address any performance bottlenecks or server capacity issues.

  • Test for security vulnerabilities: such as data leaks or unauthorized access. Use tools like penetration testing or vulnerability scanning to identify and resolve any security issues.

  • Implement A/B testing: to compare different versions of your demo and identify which version is more effective in meeting your objectives. This can help you optimize the demo for better user experience and higher conversions.

  • Continuously iterate and improve: Testing should be an ongoing process. Regularly review your testing results, make necessary improvements, and retest to ensure that your demo continues to meet user expectations and deliver a positive experience.


I know, it looks like a lot of information. Particularly, when we speak of UX best practices and testing protocols. However, the good news is that we live in a SaaS era. You don't need to be an expert in all of these areas, you just need the right tools. 

SmartCue, of course, is one of them. It gives you a user-friendly interface and intuitive design tools, making it simple for you to create professional-quality self-serve demos without any coding experience. But wait, it also automates huge swathes of the work involved, and takes care of everything I've listed in the first three sections, and it makes testing a breeze. It is also really, really quick, so your SEs can churn out super custom, super specific demos in no time. Which, your marketing teams will love, because it enables super custom, super specific email campaigns. Of course, it comes with a full analytics suite that makes A/B testing a truly happy making exercise! 

However, everyone's needs are different. So shop around - there are tools that automate demo creation, others that automate testing, and still others that help you optimize your demos and webpages through analytics. So, do your homework. Find the tools that work for you, and up your game on mobile. 

(Because your competition already has!)