Mobile Web Design - Why Not?
Perhaps not for all business, but consider the possibilities. In 2005, roughly 28% of mobile phone owners had browsed the mobile web. According to ISPOS, France, UK and, Japan have had the strongest growth in users, whereas U.S. and Canada continue to rely on PCs or laptops as the main method of connecting to the web. Nevertheless, many market research agencies speculate that mobile web browsing will become the next dominant Internet platform.
At present, mobile Internet users tend to have long waiting periods. While common uses include viewing mail, weather, web search, maps, sports, traffic updates, and games. Likewise, majority of people refrain from using the mobile Internet due to high prices. Though inevitably once prices come down, demand for mobile Internet access will increase. At which point mobile web design will become a necessity for businesses - much in the way websites had replaced many printed brochures! Currently there are ways for a website to recognize a mobile-user and display relevant information in a more user-friendly format. This ensures that issues like loading time, navigation difficulties and small displays are addressed.
Some convenient applications for mobile web include press releases, headlines, stock quotes, payment reminders, making/adjusting reservations, travel arrangements, updating flight status, travel alterations, discounts/coupons, etc. With increasing subscribers to the mobile handsets, and the increasing demand for convenience, there is great potential for mobile web design and m-commerce to go mainstream. Companies taking this lead will be rewarded when it happens.
For details on mobile web best practices visit W3C: