Navigation on WAP sites

28 Feb 2007 - 1:37am
7 years ago
2 replies
1247 reads
Soo Basu
2005

Hi

Is it better to give a deeper navigation structure on a WAP screen? Is it
good practice to put all all the links (that are there on the Home page) on
all the inside pages - shallow navigation; as compared to putting only the
link 'home' on all the inside pages, so a user has to come back to the home
page to select other activities - deeper navigation?

Considering that a mobile screen has limited real estate, is a deeper
navigation better?
Thanks
Soo

Comments

28 Feb 2007 - 4:41am
Mark Schraad
2006

Soo,

For certainly, the infrastructure of your content will be driven by
display capabilities. While flat is clearly better in some regards
(see recent postings to 1, 2, 3 clicks) going deep optimizes real
estate... but likely at a cost.

If I am not mistaken Barbara Ballard is working pretty heavily in
this area. Her site [ http://www.littlespringsdesign.com ] includes
some dialog, technical info, a developing taxonomy, and a few papers.
She also has a book coming. Additionally, Luke published a recent
blog of topical books [ http://www.lukew.com/ff/entry.asp?450 ].

Mark

On Feb 28, 2007, at 1:37 AM, Sunandini Basu wrote:

> Hi
>
> Is it better to give a deeper navigation structure on a WAP screen?
> Is it
> good practice to put all all the links (that are there on the Home
> page) on
> all the inside pages - shallow navigation; as compared to putting
> only the
> link 'home' on all the inside pages, so a user has to come back to
> the home
> page to select other activities - deeper navigation?
>
> Considering that a mobile screen has limited real estate, is a deeper
> navigation better?
> Thanks
> Soo
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28 Feb 2007 - 11:23am
Barbara Ballard
2005

On 2/28/07, Sunandini Basu <sunandinibasu at gmail.com> wrote:
> Is it better to give a deeper navigation structure on a WAP screen? Is it good practice to put all all the links (that are there on the Home page) on all the inside pages - shallow navigation; as compared to putting only the link 'home' on all the inside pages, so a user has to come back to the home page to select other activities - deeper navigation?
>

The answer, as is usually the case, is "it depends". The information
itself will likely have native groupings.

Issues to consider:
- some phones have a limit to the size of the page that can be downloaded

- many phones do not cache CSS or image files, so an extra page means
several extra requests

- some phones do not handle complex pages quickly (example: use a RAZR
to navigate from the main Cingular site onto the content store, which
looks the same. Once you are in the store, the device slows to an
unacceptably slow pace)

- there are three major components of a connection: establishing the
connection (could be 5 seconds), starting a fetch (could be 1 second),
and downloading the file (at the network's connection speed). With
faster networks, that last bit is the easiest.

- scrolling is very easy ... on some phones/browsers. Opera Mini
(roughly 10% of mobile browser hits) scrolls vertically very easily,
by clicking the right arrow. Blackberries are designed around
scrolling, as are some Nokias. On other phones, scrolling is harder.

- users are accustomed to scrolling, but the screen must be designed
to suggest that more information is "below the fold".

- phones do not handle cookies well, so if your site requires a
session cookie, larger pages are preferred

After all of those issues ... I usually don't worry about the screen
size too much. Instead I figure out what I would like to be on the
screen, then optimize for load speed and full task speed.

--
Barbara Ballard
barbara at littlespringsdesign.com 1-785-838-3003

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