This letter goes out to anyone designing or developing websites for the “mobile web”. And it comes from someone who doesn’t use the “mobile web” and has never designed or developed specifically for it. Huh? Let me explain…
The “mobile web”, to me, has always been a hassle. For one, I’ve never enjoyed the experience of trying to get online with my cell; and once online, the sites I’ve visited have always been rather lackluster. Perhaps that’s due to the limitations of the device (small screen, bad browsers, etc). Either way, the experience has always been a bit of a let-down. So much so that I’ve always felt indifferent when folks talked about the “mobile web” as the next big thing. How could people get so excited about an experience that felt fundamentally crippled?
Fast forward to yesterday (wrap your brain around that phrase!) and all this has changed. Apple’s iPhone is, more or less, presenting “the web”. Not the “mobile web”, but the web as we know it …just on a smaller screen. All of the sites we know and use, rendered the way we expect them to via Safari.
This was always the hardest part about the “mobile web” for me. Every site I would visit would be different than what I’m used to… different features, different look, different experience. It always felt like I had to learn them all over again; and that took work… work I didn’t feel like doing on a tiny little screen. With the iPhone I don’t have to to re-learn anything …no extra work.