I am looking for some opinions on a topic I have been thinking about recently.

When comparing full websites to their mobile sites/apps it's noticeable that clients are FAR happier to keep the features down to the bare minimum when producing a mobile solution.

Why do you think this is?

Could some of the more successfull mobile sites/apps influence the full websites? For example, the IMDB app is basically an amazing search (which is the only reason I visit their website) however, on the full site there are numerous distractions and not much attention paid towards their search bar. Would IMDB work better if they learned some lessons from the mobile app?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this and any reasons you might know for it.

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    Please ask questions that can be given specific answers. If you want a discussion forum, check out the IxDA site.
    – Charles Boyung
    Aug 9, 2010 at 16:31
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    UX is not a field of specific answers. Get over it.
    – DA01
    Aug 9, 2010 at 16:50
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    @Charles, Michael has already asked 3 specific questions in his post to get the conversation started.... I don't see what the problem is.
    – Nathan-W
    Aug 9, 2010 at 20:37
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    @Charles I couldn't disagree with you more. I find this community so helpful because all (obviously not you) want to discuss around topics that interest them. Secondly, I have asked a question here. I want to know why people think mobile sites/apps are far simpler and if full web designs could benefit from this simplicity of features?
    – Michael Wilson
    Aug 10, 2010 at 7:44
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    @ Michael Wilson - I agree totally. This is a site to ask questions. You have asked your questions and provided relevant background information and given an example. I do not see what the problem is.
    – Oliver Gitsham
    Aug 10, 2010 at 8:32

2 Answers 2


To be honest alot of mobile design is simply down to screen real estate, there isn't much of it so they focus on the main things users will want and use.

I think when people browse on the phone its normally to do something quickly, whereas on a PC/Laptop etc they are far more open to spending more time on the website and looking at other things.

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    It'd be interesting to know whether PC users actually also want to do things quickly - but are just getting distracted by the bells and whistles.
    – PhillipW
    Aug 9, 2010 at 17:40
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    Its a shame that many organisations dont have the same 'focus on the main things users will want and use'. I agree its a perception about what's possible with a small screen, it may also be that for many organisations their mobile interface is actually secondary. For several of the companies I have worked for, their mobile site barely got worked on, had the simplest possible css etc.
    – Nathan-W
    Aug 9, 2010 at 20:41

The audience requirements when using a mobile phone is to find information quickly and easily.

This is due to the limited screen real estate, difficulties in using the mobile keyboard to input information and the added issues of download speeds, signal/reception or costs associated with mobile browsing.

When using non mobile devices like the PC or desktop, these issues don’t arise so we are less confined. Websites still need to be easy to use and clear, but I think that the additional imagery and content improve the user experience rather than detract from it. Using your example of IMDB. I feel that the polls, trailers, top 100 films and box office charts add to the experience of the site. I feel removing these additional features would reduce the experience.

  • Thanks Ollie. I didn't mean to suggest getting rid of the other features on IMDB, however, I do think they could make their search function a much higher priority on their homepage.
    – Michael Wilson
    Aug 10, 2010 at 8:58
  • Considering it is a database and the main way of navigating the site is search, increasing its prominence does make sense.
    – Oliver Gitsham
    Aug 10, 2010 at 9:03

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