When mobile websites change main websites – Facebook’s iPhone site

It happens every time we develop a mobile ‘lite’ version of a client’s website. We boil their website down to the basics for easier use on the mobile web. Then users of the mobile website ask why the main website isn’t as easy to use as the new mobile site.

It happens because all the crap that everyone in the organisation was too scared to do away with is tossed aside because of content and technical limitations of mobile screens. Core functions of the site – the main reasons why users visit the site – are rescued from posture led obscurity and placed right at the start of the user journey. Users can do stuff faster, web copy is made more concise and pages are uncluttered. Ego and indecision go out the window if you’re given very strict technical specifications. Thank you mobile web.

It happens to Facebook according to Wire.com, which says that the social network is redesigning its main website to be more like its mobile iPhone friendly ‘sister’ site.

The iPhone is probably going to open up the mobile web in 2008 after a few false starts (i-mode sites in the UK: where are they now?), but in a way, I do hope mobile screens get no bigger. Less is more when building websites based on user needs and you can’t argue with technical limitations.

This is a big topic for web copy professionals. Having trouble convincing your client to reduce the amount of words (read ‘clutter’ or ‘noise’) on a website? Suggest a mobile version of the site and show them why mobile sites work.

Do you know any examples of mobile websites that have caused change on main websites? Email us.

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