The Mobile Web Is Frustrating – We’re Trying To Help Fix That

A story circulated around the blogosphere recently that showed mobile web user’s frustration with trying to use their mobile devices to access the Internet. First, the good news: mobile web usage is increasing by about 34% up to 57 million users as of July, 2009. However, it seems that the user experience was poor, with many mobile web users ending up frustrated.

Why all the disdain towards surfing the web on their mobile devices? In the study, users cited reasons such as slow web page loading times, text and images appearing too small due to poor web site formatting, and mobile websites crashing on a routine basis.

So, is all lost for those trying to build and enhance the mobile web?’a0 The answer, from Taptu’s perspective, is an emphatic No!

First off, if you look at the how the Gomez study was conducted, there are some fallacies that should be pointed out.’a0 For example, as our CEO Steve Ives points out, the story that got so much attention earlier this week states:

Unlike some other mobile studies, the Gomez report did not differentiate between regular cell phone and smartphone users.

This means that the firm conducting the study treats an iPhone user (who gets desktop results from Safari search) as equivalent to a RAZR user (who gets an unspecified mix of mobile results plus transcoded desktop results plus actual desktop results)’a0’a0 So it’s impossible to tell whether the problem is “slow mobile Web sites” or “fast desktop sites loading slowly over a wireless link”.

As you may already know, your normal ‘desktop’ web sites (those intended for viewing on your regular computer) are very large sites that have a lot of data.’a0 Downloading all these images, advanced scripts, and text over a wireless link is a slow and frustrating experience.

A more exhaustive survey would have queried more device users and separate categories of devices – probably resulting in more positive user experienced based on the device.

Web authors and website managers should take note – this study shows a high degree of frustration from mobile users.’a0 With more and more mobile customers adopting smartphones, mobile web usage is going to continue to skyrocket.’a0 For the sake of your customers and users, enhance your site(s) for the mobile web.

For those seeking the web’s best mobile-friendly content, look to Taptu. We are constantly indexing and seeking out the greatest content that is specifically formulated for you to use on your mobile device.’a0 We believe the mobile web is an exciting place and we’re striving to show you the best content the mobile web has to offer.

(Photo credit: Flickr User adactio)