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A Mobile Version of a Mobile Site

posted by DL Byron on October 22, 2011

See this screenshot of Safari’s “mobile view,” via the Reader function, of our mobile site. The only further reduction of distracting content is no images and then after that ascii text.

Now that iOS 5 is out, it’s a good time to think about Mobile First for your next redesign. Besides all the compelling reasons to offer mobile users content formatted for them, browsers like Safari are doing it automagically. Just like Instapaper does.

If you give your followers and fans clean content to begin with, I think they’re more likely to stay with your formatting, ads, and sticky features. What Safari Reader removed was the banner, nav, a mobile ad, and share functions in the footer.

Safari Reader

Safari detects if you are on a web page with an article, displays a Reader button that appears in the URL bar, and an “elegant view” of the article is rendered. That’s elegant according to Safari. This happens with Safari on the desktop too, but is an even more enticing choice on a mobile device.

+Robert Jolly is working right now on our mobile site and we’re making sweeping changes towards a single, Responsive design that adapts to the the mobile device or desktop. We designed for a mobile view first and then we’ll address tablets and the desktop in that order. That gives us a clean start after 5 years of cruft on Bike Hugger and a view that we own and hopefully control across devices.

As I’ve said for the past couple of years, post once and publish everywhere.

For more thinking and examples of Mobile First, see +Luke Wroblewski’s new book available from +Jeffrey Zeldman’s A Book Apart. Also see what +Ethan Marcotte, +Aaron Gustafson, +Andy Clarke, +Kevin Tamura, and others are doing.

You can follow our progress on Bike Hugger too with your mobile device or here

We’re making changes daily.

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