Mobile Site Vs. Full Site

Build a separate mobile-optimized design (or mobile site) when you can afford it. When people access sites using cellular devices, their assessed usability is much higher for mobile sites than for full sites. A mobile application might be even better- at least for now. We’ve tested hundreds of mobile sites and full sites on all the currently popular platforms (including iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry).

The findings regarding mobile and full sites were the same for everyone the different cell phones, so I won’t discuss specific devices here. The rules will vary for large tablets (10-inch form factor, as in Ipad, Lenovo IdeaPad, Samsung Galaxy, etc.), where full sites work very well reasonably. For small tablets (7-inch form factor, as with Amazon Kindle Fire) the perfect is always to create yet another design optimized for mid-sized devices, though most companies can escape with serving their mobile site to Kindle Fire users. The complete design guidelines for mobile websites require 300 pages almost, so I can’t cover everything here.

The problem is to eliminate features and phrase count without limiting selecting products. A mobile site should have less information about each product and fewer things users can do with the merchandise, but the range of items should stay exactly like on the entire site. If users can’t find a product on the mobile site, they suppose the company doesn’t sell it and go elsewhere.

So, for example, a mobile real estate site should show all the virginia homes in a community, not just the ones most people are interested in buying. But the mobile site could eliminate esoteric features – like a property’s past sales history – and provide users who need these includes a link to the knowledge on the full desktop site.

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It’s common today to hear people argue the next: Mobile users have more and more high anticipations for what they should be in a position to accomplish on their phones, so removing content or features will disappoint some individuals. It’s therefore better, the (flawed) argument goes, to serve the entire site to everybody, including mobile users.

This analysis is flawed, since it assumes that the only choice is between your full-featured desktop site and a less-featured mobile site. However, any mobile site that complies with the usability recommendations provides links fully site wherever features or content are lacking, so users have access to everything when and if it’s needed by them. The look challenge is to put the cut between mobile and full-site features so that the mobile site satisfies virtually all the mobile users’ needs. If this goal is achieved, the excess relationship cost of following hyperlink to the full site will be incurred pretty rarely.

True, we’ve seen some underpowered and poorly designed mobile sites that could hardly fulfill anybody’s mobile needs. But bad design that misinterprets a guideline is no reason to toss the baby out with the bathwater and neglect the well-documented guide itself. Actually, if unpleasant consumer interfaces were grounds to reject an entire design category, we wouldn’t have the net at all; there are plenty of virtually unusable websites around.