The most prominent advice about mobile content is to be concise. The content for web should be short, but the mobile content should be even shorter. While this is certainly true, some take this "shortening" to another level.
Being concise doesn't mean that the content shouldn't make sense and actually become useless.
Sometimes Less is Just Less
The mobile website of Chase is an example of such behavior. They assume that there are four reasons why would you pay a visit to their website via mobile: to log on, contact them, find an ATM/branch or to download their app. Is this really it? That's all Chase can provide to mobile users? At least please provide the link to the regular site for those who want to check on interest rates or products.
But it's not just Chase. Many other treat mobile websites in similar fashion.
Another example of too much shortening is Microsoft's XBOX mobile website. A few paragraphs of text, one blurry image and a share button. A share button? What's there to share? There are no reviews, support information or any interesting content at all that would give you a reason to share it. At least Microsoft provides a link to the desktop version of the site which is a small plus.
Mobile Users Still Want Information
Not all mobile users are on the run. Some of them are actually not focused on "single task." Many are researching their next buy while commuting or want to get information but for whatever reason they can't use their PC.
According to various studies, it’s hard to read and explore mobile websites, but it doesn’t mean that we should hide the content from users. Instead we should focus on finding ways to make it less hard.
So while it is important to shorten the content for mobile users, please consider these simple rules that can help you with your mobile content optimization efforts:
- Personas or User journeys can help you create a strategy of possible tasks that users want to do on your mobile website, but don’t forget other users too.
- Always provide link to desktop version of the page if the mobile one doesn't have all the content.
- Have a look in web analytics which desktop pages receives mobile visits and convert them to mobile.
- Don't edit the texts that have informative purpose (reviews, tutorials, guides, etc). Instead provide a very concise summary and a link to full text.
- Before publishing a mobile page, read it through and ask yourself: Is this page still valuable?
- Don't cut the information that might be valuable. For example, if you edit the contact page for your mobile website, don't hide the email. Instead, prefer mobile users: reorder the information so that the mobile relevant information is on top, but leave other forms of contact below.
Editor's Note: You may also be interested in reading:
- CXM Perspectives: How OpenText Approaches Customer Experience by @barbmosher
- Customer Experience Management: We Want to be Adored by @deb_lavoy
- The Seven Hats Content Managers Will Wear in 2012