Do you want a totally different website on your mobile?
Image Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk
As a Web Designer, I understand that the phone browsing environment is a rapidly emerging market that we need to cater for. As a human being, I know how damn well annoying it is when I log on to a website and am forced to run a mobile version of the site that is lacking the feature I need.
One of the biggest culprits for this is eBay. Recently I sold a few household goods for a family member, who couldn't get me the measurements of the items before upload. I had to leave the office for a while but no problem, I can just edit the details of the listing from my phone whilst I'm out on business right? Well no, no you can't, because you're automatically re-directed to the annoying mobile version of the site, which after ages looking I can confirm does not have an option anywhere to edit your listing at this point in time.
Which raise the question for me, do I as a customer really want a totally different version of a website on my mobile, even when it is fully functional? And the answer is simply no, I do not, and I suspect that there may be many others out there just like me
I, like many people, tend to use a small number of frequently visited websites. I have got used to how they work, where the buttons I need are, how I can adapt them to suit my needs. So why would I want a totally different system thrown in, making something that should take me seconds take 20 minutes of pure frustration?
There is a good reason for them. Screen-size. Conventionally, websites are designed to fit appropriately on the smallest often used monitor size of 1024 pixels width. When you view them on a phone they look tiny, and if you turn it sideways its like looking through the window of the World's Smallest Man at the content. It doesn't look right, its ungainly and difficult to use.
So I see the need for mobile sites. But I think, and correct me by e-mail if I'm wrong, that they should all be designed using the same style, with the same navigation and the same functions as the full website. Don't penalise your user because they're using a mobile. And give them an option to use the full site if they want to like the BBC do. And make sure that it remembers your setting! I don't want to load the BBC Sport website in a separate window and get the mobile version I specifically opted out of again and again. And the BBC probably has the best mobile version of a site going right now. Its time the technology caught up with its purpose.
Author: Paul Rostron, Webmaster
Categories: Website Design