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“Whoa dude, it’s true.”

This recent article reminds me of a wonderful analogy that I heard by one of my favorite speakers Mordy Golding at the ’08 Adobe Max conference. If I may paraphrase, he said that in the world of mobile screen design, today we are at the same place we were in the early days of the internet when businesses went from print brochures to the web. We simply saved a huge image of the brochure and slapped it up online and called it the new corporate “website”.

But then we got savvier and realized that we needed to design for the medium of the web and all it’s unique nuances. So websites got better and here we are today. Now that we’ve started trying to browse these same websites online, we’re back at the beginning where the website is just not made for our new teeny tiny little screens.

Businesses and web designers are just now beginning to understand that we must design for the medium of mobile and all the unique ways the sites can actually interact with the devices themselves, like using vibration or soft keys, trackballs, and all the slick new flick actions we find on the iPhone, PalmPre, and Blackberry Storm, just to name a few.

Now you may be asking, why bother, my business isn’t that sophisticated or high-tech. But, are your customers? Next time you meet with one of your customers or potential customer, try prying their smartphone away from them and see what happens!

Mobile is here. Are you there yet?

“Have a tough time getting anything more complicated than talking done on your cellphone? Small wonder.

Researchers at Nielsen Norman Group put people to the test to try to look up everything from movie listings to product reviews on their handsets. The conclusion: The mobile web is about as tough to navigate as traditional websites were 15 years ago….

Nielsen identified hurdles to getting things done on phones, aside from a poor cellular connection. Among them:

  • The screens on most handsets are too small. It’s also hard to open multiple windows at once, making it difficult to compare different products.
  • Typing is slow and awkward, even when there’s a mini-keyboard. Typos are common.
  • Download delays are also typical, often longer than old computer dial-up modems, “even when using a supposedly faster 3G service.”
  • Websites designed for desktop and laptop computers, don’t typically translate well to mobile screens.”

USA Today’s coverage of the Nielsen Norman Group’s mobile usability findings