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Mobile Site Redirects - User Experience Nightmare

Posted by C.S. Hsia on · Comments

More and more companies have been launching mobile optimized websites, catering to smart phone users while maintaining the agility of web (vs app). Less time zooming, more time shopping.

In fact many sites automatically redirect users to mobile sites when a smart phone user-agent is detected.

User friendly? No! Unless these auto redirects are handled correctly, they're a nightmare to deal with.

Want to reset a password and clicked the confirmation link from your iPhone? You're sent to the (mobile) homepage with no clue if the reset was successful. Clicked an email to track a shipment? Again the homepage. All the posted data in the URL is discarded by the forwarding mechanism.

Forwarding the URL of a great pair of shoes to your friend for her opinion? Again, homepage.

Pay4Bugs corporate color loafers.

This must be happening tens of thousands of times daily. Yet somehow we've accepted this as part of the trade offs for a good mobile browsing experience.

No! This is unacceptable. Lost revenue, frustrated customers, just because its mobile doesn't mean developers can be lazy.

So for all the companies with a mobile optimized site and over zealous redirect, take some time to Capture the data before aimlessly sending people to the homepage. Build mobile responses to password resets or confirmations. If a link has a product ID, forward the user to the same product, on mobile.

Oh, and one last thing. If I requested to use the full website, please remember (and respect) that decision.