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Forrester is wrong, imho

Wednesday, August 1, 2007 by Dave Winer.

A picture named iphone.gifForrester analyst Vidya Lakshmipathy claims that the iPhone's approach to the web eliminates the need for "stripped down sites crammed onto the small screens of devices meant for phoning, not browsing." Permalink to this paragraph

I would love to agree, but I came to the opposite conclusion.  Permalink to this paragraph

7/25/07: "I think what Apple has attempted is noble, but it's not going to work. The screens have limited resolution, and even if they didn't, even if they could cram a billion pixels into every square inch, there's the limit of how much detail our eyes can see and how big our hands are." Permalink to this paragraph

I'm glad to have the opportunity to elaborate. Permalink to this paragraph

The iPhone view of the web is not optimal for the user. GIven a choice between a site well-designed for mobile use, and the extra work you have to do to zoom in and out and scroll in all directions to read a page laid out for a big screen on a tiny one, there's no choice at all, I'll go with the one designed for mobile use.  Permalink to this paragraph

To prove the point, compare the user experience, on an iPhone, of the default NY Times site (as demo'd in the commercial), and the river version. No doubt which one is easier for the user, and isn't that what counts? (To me as a user, of course it is.) Permalink to this paragraph

Now if Forrester had said that many sites aren't available in mobile versions, or the mobile versions often aren't any easier than the larger versions, or the problem of where they link to hasn't been soved, or that there are tradeoffs, of course, as a user and an engineer, I'd have to agree. But a special mobile web will be needed as long as we want to use devices the size of an iPhone.  Permalink to this paragraph

There is some point, not sure where it is, where the screen gets large enough to work. Maybe that's the computer Apple will announce next Wednesday.  Permalink to this paragraph

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Last update: 8/1/07; 5:12:36 PM Pacific. "It's even worse than it appears."

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