Thursday, August 5, 2010

Good Mobile Search - Content or Look & Feel?

There is a lot going on in mobile search right now and the notion of mobile friendly results is coming to the forefront. So what exactly are mobile friendly results? Dumb question? Well it depends on the answer.

Most people can agree that mobile friendly results are results that work well on a mobile device, whether a mobile browser, feed reader or media player. They also should correspond to the capabilities of each phone. So if you have a large screen, high resolution is important and if you have a touch screen the results should be touch-friendly. As touch screens are the latest and greatest, there are even companies specializing in providing a search portal with touch friendly results.

Are we moving to a world with search portals for every phone category? Hopefully not, as the look, feel and usability of search results is of less concern than actually getting search results that corresponds to what the user is looking for, content rather than look and feel, one could say. As lengthy search queries are tedious to enter on a phone, we want relevant results from simple search terms. Let us use the search term fun as an example. Are we looking for jokes, games, amusement parks, movies or something fun to do close to where we are? Good mobile search results should give you results in a way so that you can quickly get to which one of these you are actually looking for. And they should do that without having to use a different portal or app for each result type. Is this possible? Yes, but more about this in a later blog.

In the meantime, try entering fun on your phone search and see how quickly you get to what you have in mind!

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