Mobile Web Grows – But User’s Can Find it Tough

According to this report from MediaPost (a web site devoted to advertising and mobility) mobile web usage continues to grow, which we knew. However, the report also goes on to talk about the frustrations many users experience with the mobile web. You can see the actual stats cited from Nielsen here.

Most users are probably frustrated by the “mobile web” because the web they are viewing is often the same web that’s formatted for the desktop and desktop browsers. Many of us who’ve tried to load a desktop site on a mobile browser know how poorly mobile browsers render those sites. Often you get a column of content with everything running vertically, and trying to find a link or read the text is so difficult that we just give up. Safari on the iPhone and Opera do better, but they are still not ideal for mobile users. And one thing that should be noted is that it’s not that difficult to build a mobile site. First of all, your users probably don’t want everything you are offering on your desktop site, especially if you have a lot of links and navigation. You may be able to work with a subset of content and navigation, so that makes it easier for the developer. But even if you have to provide most or all of your navigation, you can format it for mobile consumption so your users will stay on your site find the information they need. Some helpful development resources are shown below:

Great book about mobile web design:

http://www.cameronmoll.com/archives/000577.html

Some information to get you up on terminology and history:

http://articles.sitepoint.com/article/designing-for-mobile-web

Platform Specific Sites:

iPhone and Safari:

https://developer.apple.com/safari/ Note: Link is on the right side, “Safari on iPhone and iPod Touch”

https://developer.apple.com/safari/library/documentation/AppleApplications/Reference/WebKitDOMRef/index.html

animations: http://girliemac.com/blog/2008/07/19/webkit-css-animation-examples/

tips and pointers: http://articles.sitepoint.com/article/iphone-development-12-tips

simulator (will show you what it looks like in the iPhone frame, doesn’t mimic the touch, gestures, etc.) http://www.testiphone.com/

Windows Mobile:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa286514.aspx

Blackberry:

Blackberry development program area – http://na.blackberry.com/eng/developers/resources/

http://www.blackberry.com/knowledgecenterpublic/livelink.exe?func=ll&objId=800440&objAction=browse&sort=name

AND I WOULDN’T BE TRUE TO MY MOBILE DEV ROOTS WITHOUT FLASH/FLASH LITE – which should be picking up some significant steam as it gains support on most platforms. It’s still my personal favorite, but that’s the Flash Developer in me coming out, I’ve also done work on the other platforms above.

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/devices/?devcon=f2mobile

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