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4 Website Reviews as Seen on a Smartphone

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4 Website Reviews as Seen on a Smartphone 515-daily-golden-nugget-799Every Friday I randomly choose a retail jewelry store and I review their website for SEO value, usability, and a general overall evaluation. The goal of each review is to learn from the mistakes of others. Tomorrow is my 800th Daily Golden Nugget, and in keeping with tradition I will review the latest happenings with Google Maps.

So I bring you this week's review installment today instead of tomorrow. To further keep with my Google Maps tradition I'm going to review how several websites appear when viewed through Google Maps on a smartphone.

To conduct these reviews I search for "jewelry stores" using Google Maps and Google Search on my both my iPhone and Android. The results were similar ... let's review.

The first smartphone screen capture comes from Michael's Jewelers. Their website is http://www.michaelsjewelers.com.

Michaels Jewelers website as seen on smartphones The way it appears in a smartphone is how most jewelry store websites appear--small. The image to the right shows the site the way it looks when you first land on the page and how it looks when you pinch-zoom in on one area of the page.

You can click here to view a larger version of the screen capture.

Most smartphone browsers support the same programming code as desktop browsers and the ease of which a smartphone allows you to pinch-zoom have allowed most website owners to develop lazy attitudes toward mobile websites.

On the other hand, there are a few website owners that seem to have completely ignored the smartphone user crowd all together. According to my own measurements it's becoming very dangerous to ignore the mobile audience. Statistics from the last 30 days show:

Desktop Users: 62.9%
Mobile Users: 25.2%
Tablet Users: 11.9%


Sona Jewelers website as seen on smartphonesHere's one jeweler who doesn't seem to care much that their website is almost unusable on a smartphone. http://www.sonajewelers.com. To the right, you can see the Sona screen capture from both the iPhone (top) and the Android (bottom).

You can click here to view a larger version of the screen capture.

In the iPhone image you see a black header area and a large blank white area of the page. In the Android image you can see 3 designated areas that are missing content. This is what happens when you try to view Flash elements on a smartphone.

Most of the Sona Jewelers website is broken when trying to use it on a smartphone. It's pretty clear that they have not updated their website in years since the footer of all the pages says it is best viewed in IE 7 or Firefox 3 with the latest Flash plugins. As of today the latest version of IE is 10 and Firefox is on version 23. So, yeah, Sona Jewelers fails this smartphone test.



Oceans of Diamonds websites as seen on smartphonesThis next one really threw me. The jeweler is Ocean of Diamonds, which is a cute name, but they've turned their website into a pretty campy play on their name. The image shown to the right doesn't load on iPhone (top) or Android (bottom). There's nothing to navigate with even if I could get past the home page. You can click here to view a larger version of the screen capture.

I had to visit http://www.oceansofdiamonds.com on my desktop just to figure out what was happening here and I just couldn't take my eyes off the screen... I was amazed by how bad it was.

Before you see anything on the page you start to hear Marilyn Monroe singing "Diamond are a Girl's Best Friend." Then after a few seconds a very large animated background of a beach appears with waves lapping on the sand. Then the rest of the page loads in front of that. Even on my fast internet connection this takes about 25 seconds to load.

I can't help but wonder if this jeweler is going bankrupt from the royalties they owe 20th Century Fox for the use of that music... but it's likely they never secured the rights. There's no way to turn the music off either. This website may have been amusing several years ago when all this video and music technology was new and cool, but now I have to assume the bounce rate for their website is high.



Haniken Jewelers websites as seen on smartphonesThe last train wreck I'd like to present for today is Haniken Jewelers and their website http://www.haniken-jewelers.com. To the right you can see the smartphone screen shots, again with the iPhone on the top and Android on the bottom. You can click here to view a larger version of the screen capture.

This one appears as all black without any indication of what's happening. Once again I had to view this one on the desktop to see what was happening. It turns out to be one of those100% Flash template websites. The copyright in the footer says 2007.



Google continues to make strides every day with usability and friendliness of their websites and smartphone apps. They want to make sure their users are satisfied with search results. Certainly I'm not satisfied with these website results as presented through Google Maps. As a mobile user I would like a forewarning that the website does not work on my smartphone because I could save some time.

Perhaps in the future Google's mobile apps will figure out how to filter from search results all those stores who refuse to build mobile websites. I know I would personally appreciate the effort.


AT: 08/15/2013 11:12:37 PM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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