January 19, 2022

Jakob Nielsen Discusses Mobile Web Site Guidelines

Here’s the latest Alertbox newsletter article written by web usability guru Jakob Nielsen.

It’s titled, “Mobile Site vs. Full Site.”

From the Post:

Based on usability testing of hundreds of sites, the main guidelines for mobile-optimized websites are clear:

  • Build a separate mobile-optimized site (or mobile site) if you can afford it. When people access sites using mobile devices, their measured usability is much higher for mobile sites than for full sites.
  • A mobile app might be even better — at least for now.
  • If mobile users arrive at your full site’s URL, auto-redirect them to your mobile site. Sadly, many search engines still don’t rank mobile sites high enough for mobile users, so people are often (mis)guided to full sites instead of the mobile ones, which offer a vastly superior user experience.
  • Offer a clear link from your full site to your mobile site for users who end up at the full site despite the redirect.
  • Offer a clear link from your mobile site to your full site for those (few) users who need special features that are found only on the full site.


The guidelines are different for large tablets (10-inch form factor, as in Apple iPad, Lenovo IdeaPad, Samsung Galaxy, etc.), where full sites work reasonably well. For small tablets (7-inch form factor, as in Amazon Kindle Fire) the ideal would be to create yet a third design optimized for mid-sized devices, though most companies can get away with serving their mobile site to Kindle Fire users.

Read the Complete Article for More Mobile Web Advice from Jakob Nielsen

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.