Katelyn M. Thompson's Blog

You Offer a Mobile Site?

Posted in Design, My Rambles by kmtom on August 11, 2010

Great! You don’t have to advertise your mobile site to me on your website, just take me to it when I’m on my mobile phone!

While checking out the Staples Center website I came across this indicator on the top right of their site. Really?! Isn’t it kind of a given that you have a mobile site? And why do you need to indicate this to people on your main website? Shouldn’t your technology be good enough that you can notice that I’m on a mobile device and just bring me to your mobile site? It’s not like I’m going to visit your site from my computer.

Well, now my post could end here. A simple gripe about how people just don’t get mobile sites. But, I’m going to take it one step further, and expand upon the implementation of mobile site. I actually visited the mobile site from my computer, just to see what it was like. (Now, as a note, I kind of feel bad picking on the Staples Center but #1, the Lakers┬áplay there and #2, it just happens to be the one site that I’ve visited recently like this. I’m sure there are many, many others out there.)

Here is the header from www.StaplesCenter.com.

And now the landing page for mobile.StaplesCenter.com

Why is this a problem?

Since getting my Droid back in February, I’ve been using my PC less and less. (Note: I’ll be getting a Mac very soon and hopefully I’ll be using it more since it’ll be AWESOME!) Perhaps I’m expecting too much from mobile sites, but I expect to be able to do pretty much everything I can do on the “normal” site, just faster and easier and with less clutter. Actually, designing web sites optimized for mobile could actually be a good direction for designers to head. But I digress. Why should I have to suffer with reduced functionality and features just because I’m using a “phone”? It just doesn’t seem fair.

Now I could understand this approach 4 years ago when people were accessing the Internet from their Moto RAZRs with small screens and slow networks. But today’s phones are much more powerful than computers were just a few years ago.

One other thing about mobile sites that annoying me just as much as reduced functionality is the inability to zoom! Why must you fix the width to my phone? Sometimes I need to see the words a little bit bigger. WordPress Blogs (including my own) and Mashable are two sites that come to mind.

Do you have any sites that you use that are like this? Any other gripes you have about navigating the Web on your phones?

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