Twitter reveals the anatomy of its major mobile overhaul

The social network explains what it took to make its Twitter for mobile Web available to anyone who owns a cell phone.

Initial proposals for primary views and navigation for Twitter for mobile Web. Twitter

What did it take to revamp Twitter for mobile Web ? Lots and lots of man-hours.

Twitter completed the overhaul of its mobile site today, which aims to make Twitter available to anyone who owns a cell phone -- smartphone or feature. Now people in far away or rural places, and even those on low-bandwidth networks, can use the newest version of Twitter for mobile Web on their cell phone.

This is significant because it means that news on events like the Arab Spring, where Twitter played a major role in spreading information, will now be even easier to get.

Here's what Twitter designer Coleen Baik wrote in a blog post today:

Twitter is all about making real-time information available to everyone, everywhere. In order to reach every person on the planet we recently released an update to mobile.twitter.com for feature phones and older browsers. We completely overhauled this client from the ground up, a process that resulted in a lighter-weight, faster client that looks and feels like twitter.com and our mobile apps. The app was overdue for an update on many fronts and we took the opportunity to refresh it inside and out.

Twitter did a complete work-over designing, prototyping, developing, testing, and calibrating its mobile system during the overhaul. It brought the user interface in-line with the latest version of Twitter and designed style sheets that could accommodate feature phone users.

After testing the new system on around 300 different devices, Twitter initially launched twitter.mobile.com in May . Ultimately, the social network said that several improvements were successful, including pages that are now 63 percent smaller, sessions that are 37 percent smaller, and 63 percent fewer requests in some views, such as profile pages.

Here's the home timeline on Twitter for mobile Web, before and after the redesign:

Twitter's home timeline on mobile.twitter.com, before and after the redesign. Twitter

About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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