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Accessibility and Usability Forum

The Public Shun Mobile Web
Usability Not Up To Scratch

 1:51 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Nearly three-quarters of people are avoiding the mobile internet because of high costs and poor experiences of the technology, according to research published today. The findings highlight the need for firms to develop mobile-compatible content, said experts.

A quarter said they did not use mobile devices to access the internet because often the web sites they wanted were not available, while others complained that it was too difficult to scroll and navigate their way through pages via mobiles and PDAs.




 1:56 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

Generally, I don't go mobile surfing. The small screen means limiting the type of data that is practical, and, in most instances, s l o o o o o w downloads coupled with excessive bandwidth cost put you off doing most except the essential/important/urgent work.


 2:47 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

For me, it depends on the need. I check my email and perform leisure searching. If it was extremely important and urgent, I would use my smartphone for work.


 2:48 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I don't surf on a mobile. I tried it for awhile on my (cheap) cell phone and it wasn't bad, but it also wasn't useful enough to justify the $5.00 per month charge. I do connect the phone to my laptop to get Internet access while travelling, but it's highly unreliable and very slow. I only use it when absolutely necessary. It's particularly bad when actually driving.


 3:13 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I use mobile for checking my email and google mobile search.


 3:27 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I would definitely use mine more if more sites made "lite" pages for mobile viewing.

I've recently gone through a process of making such pages on my own sites, which now load extremely fast on mobile devices. I have quite a number of users using it (mostly on forums).



 4:09 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I only use it when absolutely necessary. It's particularly bad when actually driving.

yeah i find the corners difficult too - plus those pesky indicators that need to be used now and again mean I have to cross arms just when I'm squinting to read the line of info I want .. ;)

No truthfully - I don't think mobile web will really take off until 3g in the UK is FAST.... ie. broadband speed... just not worth the hassle


 4:26 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

I bought a new phone recently and found it quite difficult to get a decent one that didn't play music or take photographs or do tap dancing or something.

The telecoms all over Europe spent the last couple of years getting wildly excited about 3G networks etc -- the public, in spite of there being more mobile phones than people in Europe now, are for the most part decidedly underwhelmed.

Weirdly, people mostly seem to want to use their phones for making phone calls.


 7:09 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

For checking email and doing a local search on Google I find my cell phone indespensible. However the interface causes me to struggle with much more.


 7:59 pm on Aug 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

$5? Try $15/month. But you do get 30 second TV clips after waiting for 5 minutes, so it must be worth half the cost of a broadband connection, right?

The problem I see, from their perspective, is if they make this too cheap, they are going to be destroying text messaging which brings in a TON.

GrendelKhan TSU

 7:47 am on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

it should be noted that this only applies to the US/(and "western" english speakin countries?)...

cause in Asia, certainly Korea, mobile...everything does quite well... and now that we got wibro and DMB its just getting better.

creative craig

 10:18 am on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

I have just started to use my mobile to view my photoblog - lets me see how many comments and who made them and delete as I see fit, was good when I was stuck on a train for four hours on Sunday!


 10:51 am on Aug 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

If a search engine would give me some mobile content options (hint hint), I'd use a mobile more, and use that search engine more.

Right now, a get a nice list of links that work horribly. I have a pda sized screen too.


 11:11 am on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was hardly surprised to see an article like this.

The Mobile Web in the UK is just a non-entity. The mobile operators charge a fortune for GPRS data transfer (2-3 per megabyte) which is the main stumbling block, but even if this was priced reasonably I just don't think there are many uses of the web on a 1 inch square screen with only numeric keys - its just more trouble than its worth.

The fact that there is no decent mobile content is just a reflection of how poor the experience is generally.


 11:43 am on Aug 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

Only my personal view here, but I've found it useful as long as you only stick to certain sites. Both The BBC and The Register have sites which display nicely on small screens, and the Opera mobile browser improves things. I've quite happily read the news in a boring five or ten minutes while waiting for someone.

Real web surfing is painfully slow though, partly due to the hassle of typing in urls. I also can't use email as my provider blocks anything but traffic on port 80 which is a bit annoying.


 10:55 pm on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's a year or two away I think from really bustin loose... I'm beginning now to really dig in on redoing the way I do web (xhtml/css standards approach) in anticipation of meeting demand for various versions of content. Just a matter of time imho.


 5:51 am on Aug 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

I've quite happily read the news in a boring five or ten minutes while waiting for someone.

Ever tried a newspaper? Much cheaper and better informed ;)


 9:39 pm on Aug 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

On Google's home page I see the message "View this page anytime on your mobile phone".

When I read this my logic kicks in and I think, "I can't view this on my mobile phone, it's just too big!"

Mobile phones are wonderful little gadgets with the operative word being "little". They are just not designed for the Internet, they are too expensive and I don't think they will ever be accepted for this. the Internet was developed for computer monitor screens, which are getting bigger all the time, not for mobile phones.

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