Here’s an example of a common mobile frustration alluded to in the comments on my last post (http://wp.me/paqt7-pj).
Several people in my networks have been sharing links via Twitter to an article in Backbone Magazine on some of Canada’s e-government wins : http://ow.ly/2Fr8w
Last night and this morning, I’ve tried to click through from different tweets while reading via mobile — but instead of being served the article I want, I keep getting bumped to the front page of Backbone’s mobile site: http://m.backbonemag.com/ While there’s other interesting stuff on that home page, it’s not what I wanted to read, so highly frustrating.
This is an example of what commenter Aaron called “forcing [users] to the mobile interface based on detection” and correctly identified as a major no-no. The solution? I think Aaron’s approach makes sense:
I think the ticket is to push for mobilization (top tasks interface) supported by miniaturization (mobile-friendly stylesheets).
The problem with a top tasks interface is that it is usually only served up to those coming in on homepages or major landing pages. With the propensity of Google searches (especially on smartphones) the mobile interface is never even seen to those landing “deep” in content pages. Forcing them to the mobile interface based on detection is a major no-no. Miniaturization would reinforce the content linking strategy, such that mobile users would not be unduly inconvenienced when navigating from mobilized version to standard website content.
So basically: when pursuing your mobile web strategy, your first objective should be to avoid frustrating your users: don’t prevent them from getting at what’s available on your “normal” website.