Web Redesign for Hand-Helds?

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In a recent report from MediaPost, and commented upon by my friend and marketing guru Marian Wood, the Gartner Group sees Web access via smartphones outpacing Web access via desktop computers by 2013. Gartner suggested that: “To successfully expand into mobile, publishers will have to reformat sites from the small form-factor of handheld devices.”

I don’t agree.

I think this new way to access the web begs for some really capable techy person – which I am certainly not – to create a new app for all smartphones. With this app, WHEN a reader gets to a website with its wonderful bells and whistles (translated Flash stuff), the smartphone automatically recognizes that it can’t do justice to the site, and redirects the reader to its Mobile Equivalent. Maybe I should just patent that phrase right now, and abbreviate it ME (pronounced Em-Eee) to sound cool.

Or if that’s not possible, someone — maybe me — will create an icon that instantly conveys: Click for Mobile Version. This icon would become a staple in the upper right corner of every website. And, of course, every website would then have a Mobile Version of itself, with clean, simple images and short snappier messages. Mobile readers would become used to having a less-is-more site on their mobiles, and get the fatter site versions (if they want more info) when they get to their home computers with bigger screens.

I don’t see why the entire flavor of the Web — with its exciting movement and interactivity and yes, sometimes byte-heavy material — needs to be changed completely for the sake of the small screen.

— Susan Brier/Creative Director

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One Response to “Web Redesign for Hand-Helds?”

  1. Marian B. Wood Says:

    Good point! Some companies are already redesigning pages for the small screen, offering a mobile version of their site. Blockbuster does that here:

    http://www.blockbuster.com/mobile

    And some, like Marriott, offer an app for free, so users don’t have to think about whether they can see all the bells & whistles:

    http://www.marriott.com/marriott.mi?page=marriottmobile

    Don’t you think we’ll see loads of creativity in the mobile space as more people check the web on the go via cell phones?

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