Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Poor Usability implicated in Rejection of Mobile Internet

How usability can impact mobiles...

"Three quarters (73%) of people with access to the Internet through their mobile phone are not taking advantage of it. Amongst the reasons for not using mobile Internet were being frustrated by slow-loading pages (38%), problems with navigating websites from a phone or PDA (27%) and some websites being completely unavailable on mobile phones (25%).

The research, commissioned by Hostway, was conducted by independent research body TNS and surveyed 1484 consumers in Great Britain.

'At the moment, most websites just aren’t flexible enough to be accessed on mobile phones,' said Neil Barton, director, Hostway. 'The research illustrates that even if people do wait for sites to load, quite often it’s impossible to actually get at the content itself because of the way that sites are built.'

The survey’s findings also suggest that if these problems could be remedied, people would be more enthusiastic about using Internet on the move. 90% of the survey said that they would use mobile Internet if they could be sure that pages would load faster and they wouldn’t incur high costs from their mobile operator.

Most people said that if they could access services quickly, cheaply and be assured that they would display correctly, they would want to access their email on the move (71%) with around half saying that they would also access news and sport (47%) from their mobile.

'Although many people have Internet-ready phones or PDAs that can access the Internet, they are not inclined to do so because of the problems with displaying or navigating the content,' continued Barton. 'Any kind of regulation or technology which encourages companies to develop mobile-friendly websites, and guarantees a better mobile experience is certainly a good thing.

'It is also interesting to see that the ways in which people use, or wish to use the mobile web is quite different to traditional Internet access.'

The findings suggest that mobile Internet users’ search requirements are far more specific than the users conducting a PC-based search. This is particularly well illustrated by the research finding that more consumers would access maps (49%) than news and sport (47%) from their phones."   (Continued via Usability News)   [Usability Resources]

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