Mobile web experience: could do better

People are increasingly using the internet on mobile devices and companies need to provide an equal user experience for visitors accessing their online information in different ways.

However, a recent Gomez/dotMobi report says that mobile web performance is getting worse (in the airline, banking and search industries at least): there’s an increasing gap between ‘traditional’ and mobile websites, with the former getting faster and the latter getting slower.

Are two websites better than one?

Many organisations (such as Vodafone) are producing two websites: a ‘traditional’ one for PCs and another version for mobile browsers. This is generating a lot of discussion in the industry (including among accessibility professionals) regarding the need for – and wisdom of – separate websites.

The arguments are wide ranging, from making the same content available to everyone (without forcing people with different browsers to use a different version of a website) to providing a good user experience across all devices.

It also raises issues of doubling maintenance efforts (and …

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Mobile websites…or not?

Twitter has been buzzing about Jakob Nielsen’s latest Alertbox newsletter, in which he says:

“To solve the problems [users experience on mobile devices], websites should provide special mobile versions.”

My initial thought was that it makes sense in some cases. This is from the perspective of corporate, not e-commerce, websites, because this is where my experience lies.

Does it depend on audience need?

While mobile users may wish for the same experience as other users, for some audiences (such as investors) it comes down to wanting access to business-critical information as quickly as possible.

If this is via a simple site with limited navigation, then surely the minimal investment makes sense? An example is the Rolls-Royce dedicated mobile site, which has been around for some years.

Accessible websites already cater for mobiles

However, I’m not an expert in this area and it’s been interesting to read others’ opinions, especially in relation to accessibility. A Read More