Mobile websites for Smartphones
Whether it’s for the Apple iPhone, Window, Blackberry, Google Android or Symbian devices by Nokia, operators who product mobile websites for customers must think more than 100% about the requirements of the user.
New patterns of use and new usability criteria determine the success of mobile websites.
Websites for mobile phones
With the iPhone, Apple has set new standards in web usage and has intensively advertised that the device can display all normal websites (except Flash sites). In contrast to this message, special websites for Smartphones have achieved great successes – particularly on the iPhone.
Specialist design for mobile websites
The introduction of Smartphones, particularly those with touch screens, has created completely new requirements for these websites. Suddenly, criteria that were previously only relevant to the field of accessibility are also an important topic for mobile websites. Examples include positioning of links or buttons that can easily be clicked on using your finger or avoiding clicks which are too close together.
Professional mobile websites work more intensively than normal websites on the principle of what is possible with reduced content. It is clear when looking at mobile websites than completely new concepts are required for navigation. “Filler information”, such as areas in additional boxes, hints and other common aspects of normal websites, are completely ignored. Many mobile websites attempt to draw customers with normal PCs and browsers to the traditional website. It is, however, possible to successfully implement this reduction for websites which cannot discount the normal computer browser.
Mobile websites are more than a normal website?
If you would like to see the difference between a normal website and a site which has been optimised for mobile phones, have a look at some echonet examples:
- Mobile version mobile.echonet.at compared to www.echonet.at
- Mobile version m.wienlive.tv compared to www.wienlive.tv
- Mobile version m.siz.cc compared to www.siz.cc
- Only for mobiles: www.handylesen.at
Particular criteria for successful mobile websites
From the very outset, there are a number of characteristics of mobile websites which can determine their success:
- Unnecessary or secondary information is removed.
- The home page consists primarily of navigation elements – complimented by up-to-date important information.
- Subpages concentrate on the most important information and do not provide access to general information/navigation.
While the first aspect is important for “normal websites” the other two are particular criteria for mobile websites which often require the creation of a dedicated front end. The removal of a navigation structure on subpages would often pose usability problems on the internet, however on mobile phones, the constant presence of a navigation structure could pose a hindrance.