As increasing numbers of consumers access the internet from their mobile phones, internet marketing teams and web designers must improve the usability of their mobile sites, according to one expert.

Writing in his Alertbox column, independent consultant Jacob Nielsen said mobile users often struggle to navigate websites and make use of their features.

One of the main issues is scrolling, as many mobile websites cannot be viewed in their entirety and require users to move around the page to read the text.

This means they often scroll past they information they are looking for and may lose track of where they are on the page.

Download times also present problems, as websites take longer to download on mobile handsets, causing some users to avoid clicking on links to new pages or leave the site altogether.

JavaScript and advanced media types such as embedded videos can also cause mobile websites to crash, so Mr Nielsen advises designers to keep things simple.

He said companies expanding their presence to the mobile web should provide dedicated mobile versions of their websites in order to address some of these issues.

Meanwhile, research from Tellabs and The Nielsen Company shows that more than half of UK consumers plan to increase their mobile internet usage in the next two years.

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