How does your site look on an iPhone? (2)
In the last article, we saw a few websites simulated on the new iPhone. From these examples, it became clear that sites in general will need adjustment to enable easy navigation on browsers like the iPhone’s Safari. Such adjustment should be geared mainly toward improving the display and optimizing it for use with small screens.
These are only the minimum necessary adaptations to make a site usable. However, there will be some situations which call for taking an additional step beyond just a beautiful display. The real revolution of the iPhone, especially the new 3G, goes beyond simple Web surfing; such technology can harbor much more intelligent applications.
When one wonders what sites could benefit from new technologies like GPS, for example, the web presence of real estate agents comes to mind as a salient example. Imagine your phone delivering immediate information about a house for sale while you pass directly in front of it. No more time spent getting lost in the navigation while searching among hundreds of ads, as is the current practice. Scenarios like this can be easily realized with the 3G iPhone, coming out this week (or already out if you read this after July 11th).
If you still aren’t convinced that adapting your website for mobile phones like the iPhone and its future peers is a sound investment, take a look at the following screenshots depicting the search process on three commonly used Quebec real estate sites:
Notice that accessing the house’s description takes at least four manipulations without even counting zooms, scrolling to read information, and browsing through multiple results pages. Some information is also lost due to incompatibility with Flash. It’s hard to imagine anyone actually using these sites on an iPhone.
You will need to measure how much effort is needed to adapt to this new platform. Your site could require anything from a simple CSS adjustment to the creation of a whole new site/application. In either case, changes must be considered to maintain your site’s usability as this new technology slowly diffuses into the most common internet browsing platform.