Independent Thinking Blog

What Defines a Good Mobile Site?

I have a secret: I hate mobile sites.

Okay, not all of them. I love that Amazon lets me find and buy pretty much anything with one touch. (Which, by the way, is a pretty smart sales strategy too.) And StubHub’s screen navigation makes changing or updating listings very easy.

These are e-commerce sites. They do what they’re supposed to do really well.

However (you knew this was coming)…

Mostly I just want to read the text, see the pictures, follow the links, surf a site. And most mobile sites still suck at this. I never load MSNBC on anything mobile, including my 10-inch tablet, because it offers no way to access the full site. (Okay, not getting MSNBC might not be a loss–but their advertisers might disagree.)

What Makes a Mobile Page Shine?

At the recent Direct Marketing Association of Washington Social Summit, Jon Bailey defined four elements of a good mobile page:

  • It appears automatically.
  • It has thumb-proof navigation.
  • There are limited choices designed for mobile users.
  • It is fast loading.

Bailey added that mobile sites have to be “laser-focused on the user experience.”

That means (in my opinion) that if your users want full-site access, the option should be there.

Like, hate, or indifferent to the mobile experience? And what are the best examples you’ve seen lately?

Photo by Lachlan Hardy (Flickr).

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