Wayne Wymore, MCP, A+ Certified
May 07, 2010 In this video interview, usability pioneer Jakob Nielsen discusses how marketing to mobile devices is a very fast growing marketing, which has now come into its own, with even greater growth projected. Some searches aren't likely to be conducted on mobile devices, such as when doing taxes or researching major purchases, the kind of tasks done from a desktop or laptop. However, the best candidates for mobile use are sites that have information that is either location specific or time dependent, such as a restaurant, news, or stock quotes. Nearly all businesses with a geographic location need a store locator and hours of business that are easily accessible from mobile devices. There are two strategies for mobile devices: (1) a mobile-friendly site or (2) a special mobile section of your site designed exclusively for mobile devices. Nielsen reports that his studies indicate that a mobile specific site is vastly better. "Browser sniffing" helps you identify when a mobile device is looking at your site. When you detect one, you can automatically switch them over to your mobile specific area. A mobile-specific site is "scaled back" from the full site, though there should be a link to the full site for those 5% or so of mobile users that need more information. A mobile-specific site will have fewer graphics, but larger buttons, since the touch-screen interface suffers from the "fat finger" problem. Small buttons on regular sites are difficult to click on.Nielsen shows both an iPad and an iPhone and comments on how more people will be getting pocket-sized devices (i.e., phones) than the briefcase-sized devices such as the iPad.Jakob Nielsen is founder of the Nielsen Norman Group (www.nngroup.com) provides usability research on both mobile and regular websites, including actual user testing. Then information is shared through consulting and seminars. Nielsen publishes a bi-weekly blog "Alertbox" (www.useit.com) that provides results from research on usability. This interview was taped at the Conversion Conference West in San Jose, CA, May 4, 2010.