WAP Site Evaluation uBMobilecom
The purpose of this paper is a an in-depth review of a mobile city guide: uB-Mobile. First, some background information on uB-Mobile will be briefly reviewed. Next, the purpose and function of uB-Mobile’s WAP site will be examined with particular attention paid to the ‘user experience’. Finally, some recommendations for improvement will be made.
Background of uB-Mobile
According to uB-Mobile, it is a "leading provider of enabling products and services in the mobile environment with focus on the media industry" (uB-Mobile Home, 2001). The company began its business in 1989 by providing Global Positioning Systems (GPS) solutions for navigation and Short Message Service (SMS) applications for vehicle tracking and traffic information. uB-Mobile’s entry into the mobile web application arena was a natural. Then, in 1999, they quickly took a commanding lead in the industry and in 2000 signed a contract with AOL UK to make their city guides available on the AOL United Kingdom portal. uB-Mobile’s City Guide came in first place for the most innovative and entertaining mobile web application during the 2001 Cellmania WAPPY Awards™ (Gold for uB-mobile, 2001). uB-Mobile is based in Geneva, Switzerland.
Purpose and Function
One of uB-Mobile’s most known applications is their mobile city guide for wireless devices. It effectively combines mobility and instant access to information to internet enabled mobile phones. The evaluation of this mobile application (http://www.ub-wap.com) was
accomplished using the Openwave SDK, WAP Edition 5.0 (http://www.openwave.com/products/developer_
products/). This application was approached for evaluation as a user would use it – to get some useful or required information. This test began with a hypothetical vacation trip to London, England. While in London planning daily activities, information on tours of Buckingham Palace, the Home of Queen Elizabeth, might be required. Using uB-mobiles City Guide and an internet enabled cell phone, the task began.
The most data entry / key pad intensive activity of the whole exercise was entering the URL for uB-Mobile’s WAP site: www.ub-wap.com. After that, all selections were menu driven. The ‘home’ page (Figure 2) for the WAP site has selections for uB-City’s top five cities or alphabetical selection list for choosing the desired city. uB-Mobile currently covers 46 worldwide travel desinations (Gold for uB-mobile, 2001). uB-Mobile’s guide for London could be found either by looking at the top five cities (Figure 3), which lists the major capitol cities of Europe, or scrolling through the list of cities in the j, k, l selection. An overabundance of information was found after arriving at uB-London WAP site (Figure 4). Selections ranged from dining to entertainment to ground and air transportation. The task at hand of finding out about tours of the Queen’s house led to the Discover London menu item. Again, an...