I use the Goodreads website irregularly. Mostly I use it to look up book reviews and quotes from things I’ve read, or I use it like IMDB to look up author names, date of publication or plot synopses. When I use it to do the latter I’m almost always on mobile. When I’m trying to figure out why that book my coworker is talking about sounds so familiar, I want results fast and I use my phone to get them.
I think this site is interesting because the full desktop version isn’t super visually appealing, but I actually find the mobile site aesthetically quite nice.
The mobile site looks simple and clean and uses a grid to keep posts looking uniform. This also makes scrolling to the content you want faster and easier. Instead of reading an entire post to get to the next one you see a preview, decide if you are interested, and if not you can continue scrolling until you find something that you do want to read more about.
The navigation bar is also nicely done on the Goodreads mobile site. It works similarly to the Facebook mobile design: a navigation bar along the top, but also a more full range of options for navigation on the pull away screen. There is value in designing based on what users already know and understand, and Facebook is one of the most popular mobile sites/apps. This means the navigation is intuitive to viewers because they’ve already used a similar design.
I would argue that the mobile site is actually more effective than the full site in many ways. The pale color scheme works well for mobile but makes the full site look washed out. Also, scrolling through the main page of the full site looks more like scrolling through a comments section than a social media site. The full site also has a dropdown menu for more options to “explore” the site. However, it is less intuitive than the mobile version as it uses an arrow to show more options. Most full sites will incorporate dropdown menus into their main navigation bar through a hover feature instead.Neither version of the site is terrible or amazing, but in my opinion the mobile design is actually stronger than the full version.