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Does "mobile Friendly" = "user Friendly" ? Tell The Truth !


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#1 EGOL

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:41 AM

I am starting to see more and more mobile websites as I browse the web on my phone.

 

Honestly, I don't like very many of them.  I think that most of them look like the webmaster stuffed a fat guy in a kiddie car and is buns are sticking out the back window and his love handles are sticking out the side windows.

 

It ain't pretty, but some eggheads at Google think...  "this is good"... let's give this mobile site top visibility in the SERPs and demote every other site that has not jumped onto the "convert to mobile" bandwagon.

 

 

I think that "mobile friendly" often is not "user friendly".

 

Google can judge "mobile friendly" but looking at the code, but I think that it takes an average human to identify "user friendly".

 

 

So, what do you think is easier to navigate and use? 

 

A) The average mobile website

 

B) The typical desktop site rendered on mobile that requires a couple pinches of the screen to bring into focus?

 

 

So, based upon that, do you think that Google is going to deliver a better user experience to people searching Google.com on a mobile device by demoting websites that are not "mobile friendly" ?

 

For me, I'd rather pinch the screen a few times. 


Edited by EGOL, 18 March 2015 - 09:46 AM.


#2 cre8pc

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 12:11 PM

So here's the thing.  

 

Mobile is NOT user friendly. Tiny screens are not user friendly.  Touch buttons are not user friendly.  

 

For a gigantic portion of most of the human race, mobile sites are as non-user friendly as desktop versions because we don't build websites that all people can use.  There are always the forgotten users (people).

 

There are always a set of rules that don't apply to all mobile devices and companies that refuse to test on all mobile devices.

 

So, for example, the newly redesigned CNN website is even more horrendous than ever on a desktop.  Videos start without your permission. The layout is confusing as hell.  It is not usable on a Kindle.  The ads column scrolls independently of the content column and is otherwise a laughable user experience.  It renders on my smartphone better but all that content is squished into a long vertical exhausting mess.

 

This whole mobile for Google experience is not helping anyone but Google.



#3 EGOL

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 12:21 PM

So here's the thing.  

 

Mobile is NOT user friendly. Tiny screens are not user friendly. 

 

I agree.   But if I am stuck using mobile, I would rather pinch and zoom on a "designed for desktop" site than deal with the awful designs that people are putting forward as "mobile friendly".  They are not "people friendly".  

 

If Google wants to kick up the web then they need to develop some best practices for presenting a website on a tiny device before they start slapping down rankings just because they don't like the smell of the code. 



#4 cre8pc

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 12:26 PM

The best user experience is to put down the computer and cellphone and go for a nice long walk with nature.   :taconana:  :supernana:  :pigtailnana:

 

Advice I think Google should insist on for its employees as well.  And Apple.  And Microsoft.  



#5 jonbey

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 12:50 PM

I think that the answer is yes. 

 

The main factors that are reported as not mobile friendly in Google are also those that users struggle with - small text, pages not fitting on screens, poor navigation / links. 



#6 glyn

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 01:33 PM

Just like websites and frames, technicians will need to learn how to build mobile websites. At the moment many think it is just about ticking boxes, which it largely is, but that is googles fault.

#7 tommr

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 01:44 PM

I am happy enough with the way my new site redo is coming along.
I found a way to make it work on all devices and retain a little bit of the original design.

 

I have also come to the realization that people are no longer concerned with nice visual balance and pleasing colors.  The world in general is accepting the lowest value as the norm.

 

Look at our restaurants.  Look at our products.  Look at the way we treat each other on social media.  Look at news websites.

So lets just obey Google and cram everything into a phone.  Who cares what it looks like.
 



#8 jonbey

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 02:14 PM

"So lets just obey Google and cram everything into a phone.  Who cares what it looks like."

 

You can display different content on mobile and desktop. If you run Wordpress it is easy to use a plugin to create a mobile theme that only shows on phones and keep your stylish desktop / tablet theme alive for bigger screens.



#9 bwelford

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 03:36 PM

I am now the proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy Note 4.  Its relatively large screen can handle many websites well.  However, I do not believe that is really the way we should all be going.
 
For most mobile devices we should be looking at creating apps.  These can be designed to get the job done better and provide an optimal user experience.
 
Of course, Google does not wish to see that develop since this can create enormous problems for the search process.  If we want to rebel against Google, perhaps we should all join the "Put it on an app" movement. :)


#10 iamlost

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 06:29 PM

Mobile friendly and user friendly are too quite different things. Just as are desktop friendly and user friendly.

 

Added to the above is however Google is judging whether a site is mobile friendly or not. As usual they are using a few (some known some probably not) algo inputs to make the decision. And as usual it often sucks. Big time. There are several sites I visit on a near daily basis that are the mobile version of the domain, that are listed in search results as mobile friendly and that are a royal pita on a smart phone. Google has the right idea but their implementation, to date, is more wrong.

 

 

For most mobile devices we should be looking at creating apps.  These can be designed to get the job done better and provide an optimal user experience.

 

I have a few apps but more as a way to lock in return visitors - remember that apps are outside the browser, are separate programs on the device; people are NOT going to want to navigate the web via apps beyond perhaps a dozen of their most frequent sites. While many people have zillions of apps aon their mobiles they use very few; probably don't know how to delete them.

 

I've written before about site content contextual delivery. It is possible to have a mobile site that behaves, so far as a web browser visitor is concerned, much as an app. Which is totally separate from whether a site is responsive (to device screen size) or not. Mobile delivery as with desktop delivery is much much more than most webdevs are aware. And that is a competitive advantage good thing :)



#11 tam

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:06 PM

I was reading a cracked.com article a couple of days ago which summed it up nicely...

 

With few exceptions, modern websites are perfectly navigable on a smartphone. Even the tiniest of user interface elements can be tapped by simply zooming in a little tighter, a maneuver which every smartphone handles with aplomb. Yes, the user interface of most websites could be made easier for smartphones to use them. But that's only worth doing if it doesn't compromise whatever it is that site is good at. Which it almost never is. It's very common to see sites make an effort to speed up site navigation by presenting mobile users with a completely different site with a completely unfamiliar interface, thus dramatically slowing down site navigation.

 

http://www.cracked.c...some-reason_p2/

 

I'm really not convinced that mobile websites make a massive difference to usability in many cases, and in some make it worse. Very basic things might, e.g. watching out for plugins not common on mobile devices or giant file sizes, but the ability to easily zoom and scroll covers most.

 

That said, I'm working on mobilifying sites over the next few weeks, my goal will to be pass googles mobile friendly test whilst keeping them at least as usable as the desktop version would be.



#12 EGOL

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Posted 18 March 2015 - 09:44 PM

That said, I'm working on mobilifying sites over the next few weeks, my goal will to be pass googles mobile friendly test whilst keeping them at least as usable as the desktop version would be.

 

Right.   I hope to pass the mobile test too.  If I can get them to land on an article, my hope is that the article will motivate them to view more.  If you don't pass the mobile test your traffic is going to drop.



#13 jonbey

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 03:02 PM

I am now the proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy Note 4.  Its relatively large screen can handle many websites well.  However, I do not believe that is really the way we should all be going.
 
For most mobile devices we should be looking at creating apps.  These can be designed to get the job done better and provide an optimal user experience.
 
Of course, Google does not wish to see that develop since this can create enormous problems for the search process.  If we want to rebel against Google, perhaps we should all join the "Put it on an app" movement. :)

 

 

Don't forget, for many people their first and only experience of the Internet, and your websites, will be on a mobile phone. Google is not asking you to redesign a site for your benefit or the benefit of your desktop / iPad users, but for the benefit of those who will only ever access your website on a mobile phone. 

 

I totally disagree with the "just make an app" approach. Apps are great, but not a replacement for a good website. 

 

Nothing wrong with being a rebel, so long as you do not moan when your profits drop.



#14 bobbb

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Posted 19 March 2015 - 04:00 PM

Don't forget, for many people their first and only experience of the Internet, and your websites, will be on a mobile phone

I understand this and you are right. That is similar to saying their first experience watching movies or television will be a 10 inch screen but in colour. I'm just getting used to my 55 inch screen and now I will have to get used to a 10 inch screen. Can you see yourself watching the FIFA championship on that? If that is all they would offer for the Stanley Cup I would not watch it.

 

If you are selling then the above does not apply.



#15 jonbey

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Posted 20 March 2015 - 11:20 AM

It's just marketing really - you have to provide a product (your website) in a form that your customers (the readers) like. If you don't, they won't come back.



#16 EGOL

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Posted 20 March 2015 - 12:06 PM

Nothing wrong with being a rebel, so long as you do not moan when your profits drop.

 

Nice.   :-)

 

That made my day.   I've been a rebel a few times.



#17 WebOutGateway

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Posted Today, 01:26 AM

I echo cre8pc. Browsing on your mobile phone, while very handy, is only "good" when you don't have a laptop or desktop. If you have one around you that you can use, what's the point of using a much smaller screen and "typo-prone" touch buttons? 

So, anyway, for me the pros and cons of the average mobile site and desktop site is too balanced. I guess you just have to choose what annoys you the least.

 

Mobile site

Pro

- Clear text and interface

 

Con

- Certain navigation settings are altered (which can lead to confusion)

 

Desktop site

Pros

- It's like browsing through a laptop/desktop

 

Con

- You have to zoom it a couple of times to be readable.

 



#18 glyn

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Posted Today, 03:54 AM

I was reading a cracked.com article a couple of days ago which summed it up nicely...

 

 

http://www.cracked.c...some-reason_p2/

 

I'm really not convinced that mobile websites make a massive difference to usability in many cases, and in some make it worse. Very basic things might, e.g. watching out for plugins not common on mobile devices or giant file sizes, but the ability to easily zoom and scroll covers most.

 

That said, I'm working on mobilifying sites over the next few weeks, my goal will to be pass googles mobile friendly test whilst keeping them at least as usable as the desktop version would be.

 

Google wants publishers using responsive Ads, so let's force that on the market with the usual mafia undertones about lost traffic etc etc...





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