AskMeNow is a mobile search service that claims to “have all the answers” An impossible claim of course, but the site is actually pretty useful for looking up a variety of things like Wikipedia entries, stock quotes, driving directions or sports scores.
The site is a search portal with a homepage of links to news, sports, finance, entertainment, etc. sections and a Wikipedia search box. Each section has items relevant to the its topic from around the web. Most sections also have a search box or two offering specific types of searches related to the section’s topic. For example, the finance section (money.askmenow.com) has about 10 financial news items from Reuters and a ticker search that returns stock quotes and company specific financial wire items. The entertainment section has a word of the day, joke of the day, a biography of someone born today and offers horosope and movie show time searches.
I like AskMeKnow’s approach to search. Minimizing data entry is probably the single most important element of mobile usability. Forcing the user to first chose a topic area and then either pick from a list of items or enter a tailored search tends to give relevant results with a minimum of key presses.
AskMeNow does some content adaptation, images are resized based on screen size, but long news items are not paginated making them unusable on some feature phones without full-web browsers, like the still popular RAZR. Currently, one of the stories in the NASCAR section consists of a single page with 45 KB of preformated text, far too large for many phones. And because it is preformatted and contains a wide table, the page requires extensive horizontal scrolling to read, even in a full-web browser like Opera Mini.
Mobile link: m.askmenow.com
Ratings: Content: Usability: