Friday, September 21, 2007

Losing Control of the Experience

The need to design for a wide audience ...

"This past week, Apple announced it will partner with mobile carrier O2 for its UK iPhone release.

The day of the announcement, users using the popular Mac browser, Camino, received the following message when visiting O2’s iPhone promotion page: (below)

This message showed up in every version of Camino, including the latest version. When users clicked OK, the site automatically brought them to the download page for a different browser, Netscape 9.

For those users visiting the site using Safari, the browser supplied by Apple on OS X (and on the iPhone), the page failed to render correctly, leaving critical navigation unreadable.

There are a couple of interesting points that arise from this.

First, this certainly argues the importance of using standards-based implementations on your pages. Gone are the days where we can count on 100% of the users using the same browser.

A product like the iPhone will naturally attract folks who are active Apple product users. On Apple’s OS X, Firefox, Safari, Camino, Flock, and Opera are all popular browsers. In Windows, the various versions of Internet Explorer and Firefox dominate, but others like Flock and Opera have found their niche audience.

If your pages don’t render in all these different browsers, you’re going to substantially reduce the quality of the user’s experience, potentially turning them off of your site, your products, and your brand.

Second, this brings up an interesting question about how much control Apple can have over the experience of their product when they have major partners like O2 and ATT. Apple’s success has always come from carefully crafting the experience customers have, from the marketing materials, to the packaging, to the customer support of the product.

Yet, in the mobile phone world, Apple can’t work alone. They have to work with established businesses — major players in the space with established business practices."    (Continued via UIE Brain Sparks)    [Usability Resources]

Camino Error Message - Usability, User Interface Design

Camino Error Message


Post a Comment

<< Home

<< Home