More Than Just Smartphones
Almost five years ago, Apple "blessed" the world with the iPhone. Since that time adoption of the "mobile" web has blown up - but there's still a long way to go. If you're a business planning an online strategy, having a site optimized for mobile browsing is no longer an option. More and more people everyday take to their phones to find what they need, and these people (like all others) don't like to work harder than they have to. People generally won't accept inconvenient or frustrating experiences and will abandon your site too.
But I digress (slightly) - today's post isn't about those that HAVEN'T thought about how their site looks on my phone - it's about those that HAVE. We've reached another point - again thanks largely to Steve Jobs & the iPad - that mobile no longer means just a phone. A "mobile" device now can mean a device with a great deal of screen real-estate - and presenting your "phone" site on these sites is as annoying as not having a site designed for my phone's browser. Your site's "mobile" version stretched across my tablet is perhaps as infuriating as your "full" version squeezed onto my tiny phone display.
The real problem is thinking of your site as an entity that needs split up between two (or three … or more) screens - "My Mobile Site" and "My Normal Site". We need to stop thinking in terms of the mobile-web and embrace the idea of an "adaptive" web. Our sites need to scale well from my desktop - to my tablet - and on down to my phone - always providing me with the right experience for my current context.
This has been a brief post barely touching the surface of the problem and I'll dive deeper in a future post.