|This blogger has moved!|
I want to invite you to my new gig over at Rift Labs. We are devloping Open Source Hardware for photographers.
Come join us if you are into UX, design or photography at some level.
Visit Rift Labs
Grand old man of web usability studies, Jacob Nielsen has done a fairly large usability study of mobile web use in general with 48 participants in the US and UK.
The study finds that using the web on a mobile phone ranges from a world of pain (feature phones) to barely acceptable (touch phones). Unsurprisingly, he found that sites designed specifically for use on a mobile phone performed substantially better than "full sites".
Nielsen also compared with a study from year 2000. The same tasks took longer to do today, than they did back in 2000 on a WAP phone. He suggests that the main reason is that back then, the mobile web was a walled garden, limited but relatively simple, while today the web is open on mobiles but people need to go to to a search engine and fumble with awkward text input and slow loading times to search for an answer.
Large screens and direct manipulation has a huge impact on usability:
Unsurprisingly, the bigger the screen, the better the user experience when accessing websites. Average success rates were:
With these numbers, the consumer advice is easy: buy a touch phone if using websites is important to you.
The advice for Internet managers is harder. Considering the horrible usability of feature phones, should you even support them? Alternatively, should you focus on smartphone and touch phone users who are more likely to use your site extensively?
Recommended. You can read the post over at Jacob Nielsen's Alertbox at useit.com.