FT mobile site recognises users' needs

We seem to have managed to get through the start of 2009 without the annual predictions that "this will be the year of mobile" - and for that we should be grateful.

Service: FT mobile service
Owner: Financial Times
What's happened? New site has launched

The irony is that 2008 saw some real moves in the mobile space and it's hard to deny the impact the iPhone and its browser had on the perception and use of the internet on mobile.

That's hopefully led to brands and publishers taking a more serious look at what they're doing with mobile.

The FT has followed suit with a relaunched mobile site, m.ft.com, which is consistent with the new FT.com design unveiled in November.

Encouragingly, the mobile site doesn't overcomplicate things and recognises the differences in people's usage of mobile media in comparison with a full online experience.

The site is designed and formatted for different devices and usefully gives assistance and a simple guide for users to optimise their browsers for the new site.

On entering the site, the user is confronted with a new and improved search function, followed by headlines and opening lines from the main sections of the site - Latest News, Markets Data, World News and so on.

The bottom of the homepage features links to other popular sections from FT.com - FTAlphaville, Business Life and Weekend - and allows registered FT.com subscribers to sign in with their usual password for the premium content.

There's nothing in here that surprises, but it doesn't necessarily need to.

The mobile site recognises its audience's needs from a site with quick, simple access to news and information while they're away from their computers and delivers it in an uncluttered and unfussy manner.

What's good?
Recognition that users' needs from a mobile differ from a PC-based site.

What could be better?
It doesn't offer anything over and above the regular site.

Would I book my clients into this?
If it was relevant and part of an integrated strategy that incorporated mobile, then yes.

Andy Wasef, emerging platforms director, Mediaedge:cia

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