The chief problem lies in the graphical representation. Browsing the Web from a mobile device is challenged by the lack of technology, interoperability and standards to represent Web pages often on a one-inch screen.
To establish users’ preferred method of navigation on small screens such as mobile phones, the MWI is calling for participants to take part in a field trial that will help shape how the best practise guidelines are created. These guidelines are one of the deliverables of the MWI Best Practise working group to help content authors build mobile friendly Web sites.
Segala, founding sponsor of the MWI, is managing the field trial. Segala provides a Web accessibility conformance certification programme for clients such as Mobile operator O2, and is an expert in mobile handsets and products testing. Segala will create use case scenarios for volunteers to follow when conducting their review of a preferred method of navigation. The question that needs to be answered is if users prefer to scroll long pages of text and graphics, or if they would rather have a ‘next page’ facility where only enough text to fit a small screen is displayed. Segala will also manage a user focus group to gain further feedback.
Paul Walsh, CEO of Segala comments: “The first step when creating best practice standards for mobile web users is to understand what they actually need and want. This field trial is just one example of how the MWI is embracing users’ views and applying this knowledge to create a user friendly environment.”