Thursday, December 04, 2008

Mobile web site use surges, but usability lacking

Usability of mobile web sites ...

"Use of mobile Web sites is growing at 10 percent every month, yet mobile sites struggle to deliver an effective experience, according to a new report from research firm, Yankee Group.

The report, "The Best of the Anywhere Web," is based on a new Yankee Group methodology, its Mobile Web Scorecard. This consists of 25 questions designed to evaluate performance in five key categories: user, device, network, design and effectiveness. It "scores 32 [US] mobile Web sites on a scale of 1 to 100 and finds not one Web site with a passing grade of 70," Yankee says.

Yankee expects mobile to become users' preferred method of accessing the Web in the next 10 years, and says that it therefore: "represents a major opportunity for companies to leverage, especially in tough economic times when other market opportunities may be stagnating."

Carl Howe, a director in Yankee Group's Anywhere Consumer research group and the report's author, said: "Satisfying mobile users isn't rocket science, yet our report finds that the average mobile Web site has significant room for improvement.

"Although most of these Web sites are functional, few provide anything specifically designed for mobile users, instead relying on reformatted desktop content. The average score of 54 shows just what these sites are: average."

Bank of America's score of 67 topped the financial services category with, Yankee says, "its Zen-like simplicity and comprehensive security." Two regional banks - US Bancorp and First Interstate Bank - tied for second place with a score of 65.

"Both sites mirror Bank of America's simplicity but aren't quite as refined in how they help mobile users find their ATMs and branch locations, and perform basic banking functions," Yankee said."    (Continued via iTWire, Stuart Corner)    [Usability Resources]

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