opinion

When Mobile Users Stumble Upon Standard Sites

Stephen Yagielowicz

The Internet was built one mouse click at a time, with a huge amount of material that is presented and intended to be navigated on mouse-enabled platforms; but as the world goes increasingly mobile, touch-screen and voice-controlled, the mouse is becoming an antiquated item of our computing past. Sure, they will be around for many years to come, but the writing is on the wall, forcing designers to take a second look at their practices.

While feature phones impart their own drastic design considerations, it is the growing percentage of Smartphone surfers and tablet tappers, with their faster Internet connections and fatter wallets, which is of the most interest to many mobile adult marketers today.

As the world goes increasingly mobile, touch-screen and voice-controlled, the mouse is becoming an antiquated item of our computing past.

If you are part of this audience, how easy has it been to navigate your favorite sites?

The fact is that traditional websites tend to render rather poorly on mobile devices; with things like iframes, scrolling div’s and illegible text harming the user experience.

This brings up the very tricky question of whether or not multiple websites are needed — one for the mobile web and another for its more traditional, "stationary” counterpart.

Deploying multiple websites to target different capabilities is as old as the web, where Internet Explorer and Netscape-specific sites were operated side-by-side, as substantial differences in the way they rendered pages made it easier to have two separate properties, than one that actually works.

These days, however, new CSS media queries and platform-targeted style sheets, among other design techniques, have made it easier to have one website serve all users — but the principal challenges are not related to adeptness at coding, but to understanding the problems faced by mobile users navigating adult websites.

Consider that the fat fingers of multi-tasking users distracted by other chores makes it harder for surfers to hit the correct button, or to pull down a menu to the correct location.

In these basic instances, making things bigger and simpler is the first thing to do — increasing the size of your buttons while simplifying and nesting menus to present fewer choices per screen. Using larger, clearer fonts, with minimal button text also helps.

Small screen sizes play a big role, but even though their physical size is diminutive, the rising resolution of mobile displays (2048x1536 on the iPad 3 — higher than most desktop monitors) allows full-size web pages to be viewed on a single screen with ease.

Limits on the number of available windows, connection speed, scripting support and other factors have also come into play and has led to the release of heavily watered-down “mobile versions” of sites that are lacking in content and features.

This does not have to remain the case, however, as savvy designers could take a cue from the mobile arena and revamp their traditional websites to be faster and easier to use — providing a one-site solution that is easier to maintain and that will please all visitors.

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