Mobile Design: “Full Site” Links Need To Be Thematically Consistent Too!

I was reading Twitter the other day using Mobile Tweete in Opera Mini 5 on my N95.  This was at the start of the “Google Phone” ruckus.  I saw a tweet by @ScottSeaborn linking to some of the first published photos of the Nexus One on Gizmodo.  Clicking the link took me to a mobile formatted page “powered by Quattro”. The photos on the mobile page were so tiny that I got no sense of what the phone actually looked … Continue reading

Don’t Break Mobile Thematic Consistency

Updated 12-Dec-2008 Added clarification of how the MoFuse plugin works. In the jargon of mobile web development “thematic consistency” means that if you visit the same URL with different devices you should see more or less the same content.  It may be formatted differently, images may be smaller or missing and long pages split up when viewed with a mobile browser, but the essential theme of the page should be the same on all devices. For example, if you write … Continue reading

Mobile Web Usability – Font Size

If you use an advanced full-web browser like S60WebKit or Opera Mobile you have probably noticed that text size varies widely from site to site. It’s not unusual to encounter sites where the text is quite hard to read when the browser is set to it’s default zoom level. A good example is the NBC Olympics site (top image). The text in the screenshot is probably readable if you are viewing this on a PC, but try using your browser’s … Continue reading

Orkut Forcing Opera Mini to Mobile Version

It looks like Google’s Orkut has pulled a Friendster and is forcing Opera Mini users to the mobile version of the site. There’s nothing wrong with using browser detection to redirect mobile browsers to a mobile friendly site BUT there needs to be a way to get to the full version if desired. Many of today’s mobile browsers including Opera Mini and Mobile, some versions of Netfront and S60 Webkit are capable of loading almost any site on the web. … Continue reading

Is type=’password’ Really Necessary on Mobile Sites?

The html input tag is what’s used to display a text box on a Web page. Input has an optional type parameter. Specifying type=”password” causes characters to be masked, an asterisk is displayed instead of the character typed. It’s standard practice on the “big” web to to use type=”password” on any field where the user enters a password or PIN. This practice has been carried over to the mobile Web were I think it hurts usability while doing little or … Continue reading

Luca Passani Interview and Mobile Usability

Just a quick post to point out a couple things I saw on the web tonight that I think make great reading for mobile web designers and developers. MobilOpen has an interesting interview with WURFL co-author Luca Passani. WURFL (Wireless Universal Resource File) is the OpenSoure mobile device database that has become the standard for identifying and profiling mobile browsers. Luca talks about how he was inspired to create WURFL, the future of off-deck mobile content and especially the crisis … Continue reading

My Space Mobile is Live!

Check it out at It’s amazing how how the internet giants are rushing to the off-portal mobile web. It took AdMob to show that there’s real money in mobile advertising. Next Microsoft, Nokia, Google and DoubleClick jump into the business of delivering mobile ads. That seemed to trigger News Corp, which had limited MySpace’s mobile presence to exclusive carrier deals, to open it up to everyone. MySpace may be late to adopt the mobile religion but there’s very little … Continue reading

Mobile Usability Tips #1 – Registration and Login

This is the first in a series of tips on enhancing the usability of mobile websites. I’m beginning with user registration and login. But first a quiz, can you spot three mobile usability problems with the Facebook login screen in the image? The answers are at the bottom of this post. Most web services require new users to register. This practice has been carried over to the mobile web. Unfortunately registering typically requires quite a bit of typing – something … Continue reading