Washington Winemaker Goes Mobile

I’ve made some changes that (hopefully!) improve the experience for mobile device users. You shouldn’t notice a difference unless you visit the site with a Blackberry, iPhone, Motorola Droid, or other such gadget. If you do, you’ll see links to the ten most recent posts, followed by a list of pages – things like the About Page or the Recipe Wizard that you’d normally see in the horizontal nav bar. The sidebar, with its navigational shortcuts, was jettisoned to save space. So was the beautiful (if I do say so myself) header graphic. What brought this on?

The Lady of the House Bought a Motorola Droid!

This is the first “smart phone” for the Washington Winemaker household, and we’re very excited about it. One thing we were really looking forward to was the navigation feature. It uses GPS, mapping data, and a voice synthesizer to give you spoken directions. We recently moved and we’re doing a lot of driving in unfamiliar territory. Well it works beautifully, exceeding our very high expectations, and it means that both of us are less anxious when the other goes somewhere alone. On top of that, we can access the internet from almost anywhere. Neither of us knew how valuable this was until we tried it; now we don’t want to be without it. All in all, the DROID is an expensive little gadget that’s worth every penny. Oh yeah, it’s a pretty good cell phone too.

I’ve seen the future and it is mobile

All this got me thinking about how we will use the web in the future, and I think these small mobile smart-phone/net book thingies are only going to become more popular. What would that mean for Washington Winemaker? When I first looked at this site with the Droid it was all there: the lovely header, the nav shortcuts in the sidebar, and it all worked. But it was a little awkward to read and use. In updating the site for mobile devices, I wanted to pick the low hanging fruit first and see how people liked it. Do you use a smart phone? Have you looked at this web site with it? What do you think? What other improvements are worth doing?

Well I best be going now. I don’t know how much more playing research and usability testing the Lady of the House will let me do before she takes it back.



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One thought on “Washington Winemaker Goes Mobile

  1. Lenore

    Hi Errol,

    Thanks for making the website more mobile-friendly! I’m a big fan of your experimental wine recipes (about to bottle my first batch of Welch’s Wine today, actually) and look forward to using Washington Winemaker Mobile when shopping for ingredients in the future.

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