I like many other people love to use my mobile phone to view the web, contact friends through mobile applications and keep up to date. But recent changes by companies are driving me nuts; it’s so bad that I’m considering not using their services.
So what’s the problem with mobile?
When the World Wide Web started to go mobile, the complex problem of screen size and control had many solutions, some worked some did not. I remember writing my first WEP site; it worked but was an awful user experience. Then CSS took over as the solution of choice, now it’s purpose built applications (less functionality, one for each device and a rather expensive route) or the responsive web (resizes with same functionality, the direction I’m taking). However it’s the change in user choice that’s driving me nuts, as a user I used to be able to choose to have an application or not, now I’m being forced into an experience I don’t want.
A recent forced bad user experience with LinkedIn
I really like the concept of LinkedIn but they have really lost contact with users and the following experience really expresses this detachment better;
I was using my iPhone and I wanted to manage one of the groups I run on LinkedIn, so I used Safari on the phone to access LinkedIn. I had to do this as the LinkedIn iPhone application does not support group management. So through Google I went to LinkedIn and I was given an interstitial page about the iPhone application. Great they are clever enough to know I have an iPhone, but not clever enough to know I already have the mobile app but am not using it!! maybe there is a reason, I can’t cancel this (never see again checkbox, a feature I put on all interstitial pages as its just good user experience) so every time I try I get this bad experience.
I get to the website, great I put my email address and password in (really not easy on an iPhone, that’s an easy fix, but just look at all the sites and companies who can’t be bothered to make it easy for users) and click login — I’m expecting to get into my account, but no I’m forced into their (very slow) mobile site.
At this point I’ve already been asked if I want a mobile version and said NO, I’ve logged in and now I get asked to login again. This is because their credential store is not set up to pass my credentials to their mobile site version; this is really poor, even in the most basic WordPress system that is integrated.
Anyway as I don’t want the mobile version as it does not have the functionality I require, I click on the go to desktop version. I’m back at the desktop version but I have to login again, at this point I want to throw the iPhone under a car.
It took 25 minutes to login to LinkedIn, Mobile is now Slowbile
At this point I’ve arrive in the office and decide never to bother with this again, way to go LinkedIn forcing me to hate your thinking and technology when your concept is such a good one.