What makes a great mobile website? We all have our own criteria, but basically, many of the same qualities that make good sites on PC’s. They have to be:
– Quick to load
– Easy to browse
This latter requirement, however, differs slightly, when it comes to mobiles. “Easy to browse” means the navigation buttons can’t be too piddly-sized; shouldn’t be out of sight, and the amount of interaction (i.e. clicking and entering data) you have to do should be the absolute minimum.
And if it’s a mobile version of a well-established PC website, as many components as possible should be the same (or a simplified version), making it familiar and friendly to use.
Here are my top 6 picks for enjoyable and easy to use browsers for most mobiles. When so many sites still haven’t caught on to
what’s happening out in the real world, these sites are refreshingly easy to access – and use.
1. Topping the list and easily bagging the gold, m.facebook.com. You can basically use it exactly the way you would on computer.
2. Next, the silver medal goes to m.amazon.com. Amazon has espoused the credo: “Keep It Very, Very Simple”. What this means in
actual fact is that (providing you already have an Amazon account set up) you can purchase goods directly, using your mobile.
3. The bronze medal goes to the competitor everyone loves to hate (secretly), google.com/xhtml – you can personalize it for your
mobile, as well as access weather, movie times, news, and local searches. (A GPS, though, it’s not!)
4. This one’s a personal favorite… Darren Rowse’s Problogger.net has gone mobile (using the WPTouch plug-in, so you don’t even have to lift a finger to view it properlly in your mobile screen.)
5. Don’t want to wait till you get home to log onto Twitter? Don’t want to miss any of the latest links? You can set yourself up for
m.twitter.com either on your PC or on your mobile. (Only drawback – pushing it further down the list – no Direct Messages.)
6. Last but not least, mobile Wikipedia (wapedia.mobi/en) – entertaining and handy if you want to look something up in a spare
moment – but it’s last in my top six because Wikipedia data is not always reliable.
Notice that these are all large, mainstream sites. It’s my hope that more and more unique, individual sites will go mobile in the near future.
And then I hope you’ll write and suggest your own “local heroes”.