A study of 27 prominent mobile websites, conducted by the Yankee Group has shown that most of these sites deliver results that are far from satisfactory. In fact, it was found that on a scale of 1 – 100, the average score achieved was just 52.
The number of mobile websites has been growing rapidly, and so has the number of mobile Web users. The number of mobile websites has now grown to almost 2 million while an estimated 31% of mobile phone users browse the mobile web at least once a month, to look up routine things such as weather, news and search.
While mobile websites are improving in general, the report from the Yankee Group found that only 4 of them received good usability scores. These were Google, Google News, Yahoo! and MLB.com.
Carl Howe, a director at Yankee Group, says, “Unlike last year, most of the sites we reviewed adapt their content to many differing feature phones and smartphones. And some companies are also starting to incorporate location-awareness, something other sites should strive to emulate.”
Of the 27 sites studied, it was found that for news, both Google and Yahoo! have done well and scored 73 points each. They have managed to walk the tight rope between providing sufficient information and flooding the user with excessive details.
Again, in the field of search, Google has retained the number one slot as would be expected with 81 points and is followed quite closely by Yahoo! with 76 points. Yahoo! just needs to strengthen itself regarding some of the relatively minor features such as extraneous content and HTML validation errors.
In the field of sports, the Major League Baseball mobile site scores 71 points and is followed by Rival.com with 58 points and ESPN.com with 57 points.
As far as U.S. mobile carriers are concerned, they all need to improve their own mobile presence. Sprint, though not very good, is the best with just 53 points.
Read the full report: Best Of Anywhere Web 2009