It was great to get some more recognition for what the team I work in is doing here:
Of course, we normally promote our services as bbc.co.uk/mobile – but, MobiThinking are advocates of the .mobi domain, so not really surprising they called us bbc.mobi. Anyway, praise is always welcome.
Here’s some more information about it (and an interview with the boss!).
Other than being appreciative for the praise they’ve given the site I work on, this report is interesting because because it names great examples and poor examples on the mobile web. So, I decided to take a look at what they thought was some of the best of the rest to see what I thought and look for some inspiration. I haven’t gone through all of them here – there are alot – but these were some that I really admired and that gave me something to think about.
‘Make Sure It Actually Works’: Winner: ESPN: http://www.espn.mobi
Sport is one of the most popular things the BBC does on mobile and I think we’re lucky we’re not in direct competition with ESPN’s site on this front. The site is incredibly user friendly AND its content is increidbly deep – not an easy balance to get right on mobile. There’s an incredible amount of linking throuhout the content, which makes player profiles, stats of all sorts, etc easy to access.
Simplicity, and doing something useful is key on the mobile web – users tend to be incredibly task oriented and don’t want much interuption and both of these do this. NWA’s site (for an american airline – not the band NWA!) is deceptively simple and straightforward looking considering how much fucntionality it provides.
When I first saw this category name, I thought I’d missed the boat on the memo about how to turn your mobile into a laser gun. While the little boy inside me was disappointed, I was happy to see that it was talking about highly targetted services with one mission at their heart.
I talk to alot of web producers who are used to working to create deep, rich experiences on the web, with an unlimited canvas to work on, where users have the luxury of time and space and the comfort of their home or office to explore sites. The opposite is true on mobile – when you’re standing in the rain (hey, this IS London) trying to find that one tiny piece of information you need, the last thing you want to do is explore or browse one page more than you need to. Fidelity clearly provides this for its busy banker target audience. ‘Do one thing and do it well. Don’t try to do everything you can do on the ‘full-fat’ web.’ is something I tell people frequently.
Content is King… but in small bites : Winner: http://mobile.nytimes.com
I’ve always loved The New York Times and just about everything about it and their mobile site is no exception. Simple and elegant, its got some great features others should envy. Pagination that works really well for mobile users, send to another mobile feature (US only, sadly), resized graphics and photos (which most sites strip out), and some podcasts that really serve mobile user needs. Some of their navigation is clunky, but the site is so slick it hardly matters.