UCF iPhone Website Review

I have always hated the University of Central Florida’s desktop website. The website has a ton of information with no easy way to find what you are searching for. Their mobile site on the other hand brings a new and simple way to browse for information about the school.

The first thing worth noting is the simple layout. When it comes to mobile websites I love when there appears to be only an unordered list of items that expand the functionality of the site. This site makes good use of this tactic, as a vertical list displays to the user all of their operations for navigating the site. Aside from a few icons, there isn’t much complexity to the home page. The width of the list items automatically expands to fill the screen, no matter which direction the mobile device is facing.

By far my favorite feature of the site is the map. As a freshman I got lost on campus multiple times, but with this feature I could have easily found my way around. The map uses your current location to show you where you are in relation to the rest of the campus. You can search for specific buildings, and use your current location to help you locate your classroom. This is a great tool for freshmen, or anyone looking to locate a building they’ve never been to.

Another really cool feature is that the mobile version allows you to customize what features are made available to you. By default you are exposed to all of the features of the mobile site, but if you are a frequent visitor you can disable the parts of the website that you never visit. Because the mobile web is all about accessing lots of information rapidly, this is a great tool to help your advanced users improve and customize their experience on your website.

Each of the items in the main navigation extend to display more information. In general, they do a great job of cramming a lot of information in an iPhone optimized format. Some sections do take you to external links that display original articles, but you can usually tell if you are about to leave the main site. By focusing on simplicity, they did a really good job of taking a mediocre website and optimizing it for mobile devices.



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