Mobile Browser Site Design

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Having been woken by the neighbours with a bit of crashing and banging at regular intervals, I am now wide awake (1:30am) and have been flicking through the web on my Palm Treo phone. It still surprises me that there are sites that don’t provide decent access via a mobile browser. You can still just about read the information on these mobile incompatible sites if you like scrolling in all directions, you want your text columns to be 1 inch wide, you enjoy wading through the extra bits that make a full size sites snazzy but a mobile site difficult to use and you’re prepared to wait a couple of minutes before the site loads up.

As mobile site access is such a big thing now, major sites should be able to either pick up that I’m using a smart phone to access them and either change the layout accordingly, or divert me to the mobile version of the site. Some sites even seem to go so far as to hide the fact that they have a mobile version of their site, providing no information about the url, despite the fact that you’ll eventually stumble across it by sheer luck.

In some cases I prefer using the mobile site, rather than the full site. Most of the time this is because the clutter is removed and the functions are stripped back to the most useful things.

I do sometimes use sites like Skweezer to view normal sites in my mobile browser. Skweezer strips out the extra bits and bobs and presents you with the web site in a less cluttered way. All you have to do is type in the site url or keywords into Skweezer’s search box and it converts the sites successfully most of the time. When it fails, it is generally due to the over-crowded page it is trying to convert and again you get a load of extra information you don’t want.

I’ve got access to most types of sites that I need on my browser on a regular basis in a decent readable form, without using something like Skweezer. However, in some cases I’m using a site in preference to the one I’d rather use, just because the one I’d rather use doesn’t have a mobile version of their site.

If a company hasn’t got their site set up for mobile browser access they will be, and are, losing out to another site. As mobile browser access expands, that other site will slowly take away web traffic, because I’m sure that if I’m going to another site for my information, I won’t be the only person doing it.

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