Developing Your Site's "Mobile Readiness"

When ten24 started back in 2008, mobile accessibility was merely on the horizon. Today, organizations come to us not only looking for a website to give traditional internet users an experience they expect, but one that seamlessly translates that experience onto mobile devices as well. Some organizations also want an app to make things even easier for their audiences, available in all app stores across all devices.

The question for those of us on the other side is, “how will the languages and software we use adapt with these growing needs?”

Customers today demand different features than they did five years ago. At one point, embedding a Google map with your business’ address on your contact page was considered “ahead of the curve.” Now, unless your map integrates with a cell phone’s GPS app to give turn-by-turn directions, you are frustrating your visitors. Both smartphones and tablets offer a new set of features available to users that can only be accessed by these technologies, whether it’s GPS positioning, accessing a camera, or signing in with social media. To be able to compete in today’s online marketplace, it is imperative to consider these features in your new site or application.

mobile and desktop internet users

Past, Current, and Projected Desktop Internet Usage vs. Mobile Internet Usage
(Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/mobile-will-eclipse-desktop-by-2014-2012-6
)

In today's digital environment, a general requirement for most new web projects is a fully functioning mobile ready website. While this may be an overused buzzword, the concept is straightforward: businesses want their websites to provide their users with a seamless experience, regardless of the device. Notice that “mobile ready” does NOT mean “provide the SAME experience, regardless of device.” This is a key distinction. Organizations want responsive sites that allow users experiences they expect on different devices, not necessarily the exact same experience.

As always, one of the biggest concerns to adapting these new technologies is cost. The languages and technologies used to create mobile-ready websites and apps are not always the same that the average web developer might have. In fact, some web development shops require an additional developer to be brought onto your project to facilitate the creation of the new application (thankfully ten24 has plenty of experience creating these applications -- no extra overhead required)!

There are many resources on the market to help developers of all kinds accomplish this objective. With tools like Phonegap, which allows developers to code applications once and have it work across all mobile devices, and bootstrap, a website template introduced by Twitter that can be used to quickly make a new web project responsive, there has never been an easier time to code the web to respond to different screen sizes and devices.

What does this mean? With these new features, mobile specific sites and applications will be easier and more cost effective to create. Also, with the debugging and testing features available (which are not seen in other technologies), the applications should be stable and reliable.

If you are interested in learning more about the new Mobile application features, I will be covering these topics in both of my sessions at the Adobe cfsummit (http://cfsummit.adobeevents.com/) October 24th-25th in Las Vegas.

Web Development

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