Study Finds Improvement in Mobile Web Usability

2 October 2011
Ben Logan

Author: Ben Logan

Passionate about improving services and experiences for the people that use them.

A recent report by usability experts Nielsen Norman Group claims that the mobile web experience of today is in a similar state to the traditional Internet’s progress in 1999.

This is in contrast to a similar survey undertaken by the company in 2009, which found that the Internet use of that year was comparable to the desktop Internet of 1994, showing a definite increase in usability.

Nielsen Norman Group’s study asked participants to carry out a range of tasks on their devices, from looking up the prices of electrical goods to finding topical daily content.  Mobiles tested included a range of iPhone and Android devices, as well as some Windows Phone handsets.

Using a wide range of test subjects, the firm recorded a success rate of 62% in completing roughly 200 tasks using mobile Internet. This figure rose to 64% when testing mobile optimised sites, but fell to 58% when using web pages without a tailored mobile version.

To put that in perspective, the same tasks had a success rate of 84% when performed with a personal computer, showing that while mobile Internet use is progressing, it still has a way to go to compete with the online experience of traditional devices.

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