Gatwick web site criticism stirs up controversy

GoMo may well have hit on a sore point

it doesn't work under WP7.8

Recently, GoMo News launched a stinging attack on the web site operated by major UK airport – Gatwick. The story – ‘Gatwick Airport site suddenly becomes user unfriendly‘ heavily criticised that company’s responsive web design for creating a mobile unfriendly site. At the time, we’d given the company opportunity to respond. Now that the story has gone global, Sam Holgate, head of airport communications for Hatwick, has responded. In the company’s view, there’s nothing wrong. However, we’ve garned some interesting responses which suggest our view might enjoy serious support.

Holgate says, “We’re very excited by the launch of our new, responsive website –”

“It’s been optimised for all screen resolutions and devices (without using media queries).”

“We now have a dedicated team working with a single CMS (Content Management System) to a device agnostic strategy.”

“We believe this approach delivers a much improved browsing experience for mobile and tablet users.”

“This, of course, means we’ve moved away from a dedicated mobile site, but anyone trying to reach Gatwick this way – through a bookmark for instance – will automatically be redirected to our new site.”

“The look and feel is a marked departure from our previous site and the end result is a clean, user-friendly design with improved functionality that has been driven through extensive user testing.”

“We always welcome feedback, but as far as we can see, our website works perfectly well for Windows Phone 8 users, correctly triggering the handset’s onscreen keyboard to enter flight details.”

This, however, is a bit like traditional panto [pantomime] because GoMo News‘ response is … “Oh, No it doesn’t.”

Unlike most other news sites, GoMo checks out pertinent facts. The reader who drew our attention to the problem possessed a Nokia Lumia 800.

So do we. We mentioned this fact. And it doesn’t work. We may well have hit the nail on the head, however.

Because, strictly speaking the Lumia isn’t running Windows Phone version 8 as we stated. It is running Windows Phone 7.8.

Perhaps, this is the danger of responsive design? It goes for the most recent implementation. Rather than the handsets punters possess in real life.

Holgate also adds, “We’re confident in the speed of page loads and providing users have a satisfactory Wi-fi or 3G connection, they’ll be able to browse quickly and easily around the site.”

All we can say¬† to this comment to our offices and we’ll show you that despite a standard 3G connexion, the site is still painfully slow.

About Tony Dennis

Tony is currently Editor of GoMobile News. He's a veteran telecoms journalist who has previously worked for major printed and online titles. Follow him on Twitter @GoMoTweet.
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