As I was watching Restaurant: Impossible the other night, I grabbed my iPad to look up one of the companies mentioned on the show. After a quick Google search, I found the company and clicked to view their website.
Bang! I was shut out.
The only thing that clued me in as to what went wrong was 8 point text saying “Adobe Flash is needed to view content.” No site name. No alternate version. No nothing.
“Who designs a site like this?” was the first thing out of my mouth.
Now you Mac haters and Android fans back off. Yeah, I’m completely aware of the fact that Flash will never come to the iPad and iPhone because of a long running feud between Apple and Adobe. So web developers need to start taking iPad browsing more seriously and design sites that are compatible.
I was never a fan of Flash based websites and I’m certainly not the only one holding that opinion. Using Flash for certain elements like rotating pictures is fine – as long as it’s coded properly so something shows for non-Flash compatible browsers. But entire sites designed in Flash…. that’s so wrong.
Another complaint I have is website owners not properly using browser detection to distinguish whether to load the full website or the mobile version (if there is one) on the iPad.
The iPad is designed to load full sites using the built-in browser Safari, by Apple. Most of the time, with the exception of Flash based sites, websites load quickly and are formatted as if you were viewing them on your computer. But there are some sites that direct you to the mobile site – optimized for cell phones – instead of the full version when viewing on an iPad. This is a simple programming error that should take less than a minute to fix.
Hand-in-hand with mobile websites is my final complaint of the day. Mobile sites that don’t give you a link to load the full website.
God, that drives me insane.
Maybe I don’t want to view a scaled down version of your website on my iPhone. Maybe I want to subject myself to shrinking and enlarging the screen using finger gestures. It’s good exercise.
Or maybe I should just save a certain finger gesture for the designers and programmers who build sites that I just took ten minutes to complain about.