When the US military devised a communications network in 1958, they probably didn’t assume the system would be used by millions around the world on a daily basis. They probably also didn’t assume their ‘Internet’ would be mobile. One-third of the population now has mobile online access, the number of mobile web users rising each year. More than a standard telecommunication device, the mobile gives users fast and convenient information wherever they are.
Internet users are accessing mobi sites more often and it has become integral for web designers to create savvy mobi sites to attract and accommodate the mobile audience. But what makes a good mobi site? And how does it differ from the traditional website?
Information is the key to web browsing and we want it on demand. Cinema websites allow users to find information for session times, what’s showing and the cinema location with simplistic navigation to each area. Although these websites are great for the PC, they lack in simple nature and functionality when applied to the mobile. These mobi sites take a significant time to retrieve information and users must download Adobe Flash to obtain it.
Bad mobile websites attempt to match the rich complexities of PC websites, developers obviously unaware of the varying difference. Mobile websites are unique. They are their own site, designed specifically to suit the specifications of the mobile phone. Mobi sites incorporate user interest and should take into account the differing screen size, resolution and domain.
Good mobi sites cater to the user and are kept simple in functionality and design. Mobi sites that work well for users make sense in the mobile context and have balanced technology to receive the content required. Content is limited, yet is based on reader priority.
It’s all about the audience and what they require from their small screen. News mobi sites work well due to their simple headings and summarised articles on ample white space; users easily obtaining the information relevant to their search.
Although advertising has become accepted alongside information on the internet, good mobi sites will be add-free. The content should be of highest priority to the mobile user, not the company. Businesses will benefit from having a user friendly mobi site, rather than one that is full of advertisements, difficult to download and hard to read.
Experienced developers are aware of the limited screen size and downloading capabilities of the mobile. Good mobi sites are applicable to varying browsers and mobile devices. The domain will also influence user access and visibility of the site. While some websites use.mobi for mobile versions of the site, popular mobi sites tend to run of a sub-domain.
As more mobile users access the internet, it is important businesses understand the uniqueness of mobile web. Mobi sites should be created for the user, in content, functionality and design. With the need for information on demand, can you afford to create a bad mobi site and be left behind?