Mobile Web and Apps

I’ve been thinking alot about how new technologies and greater adoption of smart phones will impact how we find information online.

CMS Wire had this post titled “Tables, Slates, Pads, and Content Management” and a related two part article titled, “Why Mobile Web Sites are Better than Mobile Applications.”

The first was addressing intranets and enterprise, but could extend across all sites. The points were well made:

  • All of these new devices have varying screen sizes and resolutions, is your content compatible?
  • Is your site coded in HTML 5 and utilizing other standards to ensure it is rendered correctly across various platforms, such as iOS, Blackberry, Android and Windows?
  • Does your site or use require 3rd party software services or cloud computing and is the device able to utilize it?

In addition to these ‘technical’ points, the author, Jed Cawthorne, asks if your company has a mobile strategy to allow employees the use of mobile devices, by extension do you have policies regarding the use thereof, and are you publishing content through multiple channels. If not, should you?

Great piece.

He also addresses the hot topic of mobile web site vs. web applications, which leads to the second article noted above.

The basic contention of the second article is to first build a solid mobile Web site and then begin developing apps as a part of your mobile strategy.

This makes perfect sense. If you only build apps and a person has a mobile browser they won’t get what they need. If you have a mobile site, the user visits, likes what they see, and finds you have apps to simplify their life, then you deliver through that channel.

The fact that CMS Wire felt a two-part piece on the topic tells you that many are by-passing the mobile site and going straight to the eye candy app. Don’t make this mistake. Walk, then run!

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