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Mobile Enabled Job Sites

Posted By: Thomas Shaw, 10:00pm Tuesday 04 August 2009    Print Article

Continuing on from the previous article on Problems with Mobile Recruiting. One of the problems in having 2 different versions of your website, is deciding whether you should automatically redirect or allow the user to choose between viewing in mobile or original version.

Using the same URL for both the mobile and desktop version has huge benefits. The biggest benefit is that for users, the URL does not matter. Adding a specific subdomain/folder ("mobile" or "m" are the most commonly used) to your site is another way of opening your website for mobile users. You could even purchase a .mobi domain name.

There are now so many different types of mobile devices and browsers that auto redirection can be quite complex. Tonight I tried out 3 different mobile job sites which included MyCareer, Michael Page and CVB. Only CVB had a redirection script for the iphone which worked. For more information, have a read on auto device-detection scripts in either PHP, ASP or you can read the full list of mobile browser details

My advice has always been to automatically redirect users to the mobile version because it is faster than waiting for the full site to download. Promoting a seperate URL is a waste of resources. I recently read a article titled Why You Should Automatically Route iPhone Users to Your Mobile Site which backed up my advice. 

But many argue that it is fundamentally wrong to redirect based on a browser. In their philosophy a website should always be aware of the capabilities/limitations of the browser and adapt accordingly, regardless of the type or age of the browser. But you might choose to do this anyway - in fact there is a very good case for presenting totally different content based on the browser. One of the most important arguments is that the information needs of mobile users might be totally different.

Do's of mobile webpage design
  • Do design pages for a screen size of 320 by 240 pixels.
  • Keep in mind that the user can not focus on very detailed area's of your design. One of the most important considerations is that user input can be garbled for many reasons and clicking on small links is hard.
  • Do add alt-tags for pictures, users regularly block downloading images in the browser, just to reduce bandwith consumption.

Don'ts of mobile webpage design
  • Don't use scripting languages, flash or other complex objects.
  • Don't use frames or other dividers, they take a lot of space and do not add much value, many frames are shown only for 20%, causing a lot of sliders as well.
  • Don't use objects that have a fixed size, like tables.
  • Don't use big pictures, besides the waste of screenspace, they also use a lot of bandwith costing a lot of time and money
  • Don't write lengthy texts, since people on the run generally have a hard time reading them

Do you prefer auto redirection or viewing the original site? I would be keen to hear your thoughts.

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Article Tags: mobile recruiting mobile recruitment mobile iphone job search mobile enabled job site auto redirection url mycareer cvb michael page mobile job search iphone job search

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