What makes a great mobile website? Not surprisingly, many of the same qualities that make good sites for desktop computers work for mobile websites.
They have to be:
– Quick to load
– Easy to browse
The latter one, however, differs when it comes to mobiles. “Easy to browse” means the navigation buttons can’t be too small; shouldn’t be hidden, and the amount of clicking and typing they have to do should be kept to the absolute minimum.
And if it’s a mobile version of a well-established desktop website, as many features as possible should be available for both versions, making it familiar and friendly to use.
Here are my top 6 picks for enjoyable and easy to use websites for most mobiles. When so many sites still haven’t got it yet, these sites are refreshingly easy to use.
1. m.facebook.com. The gold standard in mobile websites. You can basically use it exactly the way you would on your desktop.
2. Next, m.amazon.com gets the silver. Amazon has lived the credo: “Keep It Very, Very Simple”. What this means in fact is that (providing you already have an Amazon account set up) you can compare prices and purchase goods directly, using your mobile whenever you like.
3. The bronze medal goes to the competitor everyone loves to hate (secretly), google.com/xhtml – you can personalize the page for your mobile, as well as access all your favorites like weather forecasts, movie times, news feeds, and local business searches. (A GPS navigation system, it isn’t.)
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. Twitter? They have a easy to use mobile site. You can set yourself up for m.twitter.com either on your PC or on your mobile. (Unfortunately, no Direct Messages which breaks the common functionality score.)
6. Last but not least, Wikipedia (wapedia.mobi/en) – handy if you want to look something up in on a whim – but it’s last here because it’s not always reliable.
Did you notice that these are all large, influential sites. It’s my hope that more and more local businesses will go mobile in the near future.
And then I hope you’ll write and offer your favorite “mobile business heroes”.