Gunbroker Mobile

I’ve been using Gunbroker’s Mobile site (http://m.gunbroker.com) from the iPhone for a while now, and it’s high time that I posted a review of it. The iPhone has changed the way I approach “mobile” websites, because compared to previous smartphones (I’ve had like, seven Blackberries) it easily has the most robust browser of the smartphones I’ve seen and used. This is important, because it directly impacts how I interact with Gunbroker’s mobile site.

Here’s the front end of Gunbroker mobile, screencaptured from my iPhone browser:

That is about as complicated as the interface gets – there are no categories, or ads to slow down browsing, which makes it great for most mobile browsers. This is the in item view of a search, notice how the description and pictures are loaded into different tabs.

Again, this is a great function for mobile browsers, because it keeps loading speeds fast, and doesn’t clutter up the page with a lot of stuff to interfere with your ability to covet.

It’s an extremely streamlined interface, which I think is great.  The problem is that it’s almost too streamlined, especially for some of the newer “high power” mobile devices that are capable of doing a lot more with their browser than older smartphones.  I’d love for Gunbroker to continue to develop their mobile app, and with that in mind here are a couple of things I’d add to “version 2” if it ever comes out:

  • Searchable categories – If I’m searching for a Smith & Wesson 686, I’d love to be able to go to “Revolvers” and search only in that category.  That way I don’t have to see 4 pages of results for HOME MADE SW 686 PANCAKE HOLSTER or whatever.
  • A “Return to Search Results” button – right now, if I’m coveting searching for something and I click into an item, when I want to return to my search results, I have to hit the back button twice which is kind of annoying.

I really do like the mobile version of Gunbroker though – I’ve used it on a couple of occasions to bid on firearms while I was away from a real computer, and I’ve been quite happy with the results.  I think that a couple of simple changes would really bump it up a couple of notches in terms of workability, though.

3 thoughts on “Gunbroker Mobile”

  1. Actually, a quick way to refine the search criteria would be a better choice. If “Revolver” headed the hierarchy and allowed “686” or as part of a wild card character set, that would do it. “Accessory” as a top level, “holster+686” as a wild card would get you holsters.

    On a non-mobile a pull down sub menu with the second level of search criteria would work better, but on mobiles bandwidth could be conserved by allowing typing in the second level criteria as a managed wild card set. Means the user would have to remember the wild card set but that seems a small price.

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