At the risk of offending some of you our dear readers, I will confess I am not a big WHO fan. However I do think they may have been a bit clairvoyant, because back in 1971 they sung about “Going Mobile”. With smartphones and tablets in everyone’s hands (even my 64 year old mom has one) and Wi-Fi practically everywhere, mobile is the way we are all going. DECO recently formed Mobile Task Force. This cross-division group has been tasked with determining how to move DECO into the mobile arena, best practices for mobile and what tools and skills will help us make progress!
As we started down this mobile path the first thing we needed to do was to determine what mobile means. There are mobile friendly website and mobile applications. Both are for use on mobile devices (phone, tablet, etc.), but the similarities end there.
A mobile App runs on smartphones and other mobile devices. Mobile Apps help users by connecting them to Internet services more commonly accessed on desktop or notebook computers, or help them by making it easier to use the internet on their portable devices. However, it should be noted that the internet is not always required for an App to work. A mobile App may be a mobile Web site bookmarking utility, a mobile-based instant messaging client, Gmail for mobile, GIS or navigation applications and many others.
A mobile friendly website is a website that is easily accessible and viewable from a smart mobile phone or tablet via the mobile web. It is easier to drive advertising traffic to a mobile landing page than it is to drive traffic to an App store to complete a download before visitors are able to interact with your content. Additionally, mobile friendly websites are better for delivering maps or GIS capability as they do not require local device storage of data which would need to be updated frequently.
Mobile Apps and mobile friendly websites focus more on user experience rather than bells and whistles. Apps are designed to fulfill a need and provide a valuable easy to
navigate function, while mobile friendly websites provide information in a quick, clean and organized fashion. The design of both of these is of the utmost importance, while the technology exists and needs to be utilized correctly.
Both mobile Apps and mobile friendly websites are important and both have their niche. For instance Apps are better for utilities and games, while mobile friendly websites are a better choice for delivering content, catalogs and shopping functions and mapping applications since that content is accessible by search engines.
This mobile endeavor is exciting and challenging for our entire team. With a few mobile projects in the works (look for our DECO mobile site soon), DECO is gaining the knowledge and experience needed to help our old and new clients establish their own mobile presence. As we bring more mobile projects to life, we will be sure to let know how well DECO is doing “Going Mobile”.