Posts Tagged mobile
With the New Year off and running, the outlook of the web market is beginning to shape itself. More and more companies are creating mobile web sites and the need for a mobile site is becoming required. This is due to the number of smartphones in the market, a number that will continue to rise this year and is projected to overtake feature phone sales by the third quarter of 2011. During the president’s State of the Union address, president Obama spoke of the mobile market’s growth and stated:
“This isn’t about faster Internet or fewer dropped calls. It’s about connecting every part of America to the digital age.”
As mobile application acceptance and influence grows, finding better ways to connect information will evolve. That means not only sharing but also accessing information and application interaction on a device level – bridging the divide between print, mobility and infosharing. One of these methods is the QR Code (Quick Response Code). A QR Code is a 2D bar code configured in a matrix; information is stored horizontally as well as vertically. This differs from a traditional bar code which only contains information horizontally. A QR Code uses blocks (called modules) instead of variable width lines. The benefit of this is the ability to store a lot more information. Here is an example.
The basic function of the code is to be scanned (laser based 2D bar code scanner – or more likely, a phone’s camera). On a phone the image is analyzed by a QR Code reading application such as QRdvark and the content, link, and info is then available on the device.
In the article “Understanding the Future of the Web & Your Business,” HTML5 features were discussed and the question was asked: Is your business on the forefront of this new technology? But what businesses are using this technology and is this technology worth jumping into so early in its development?
Early this month, Yahoo launched a new mail HTML5 App. Smartphone users can start previewing and using the new site by going to m.yahoo.com/mail. The new site utilizes the power of HTML5, looks great and is lightning fast. Yahoo was able to create something better then a native application by developing it in HTML5. Last week, YouTube released its new mobile HTML5 App to overwhelmingly positive critical response. People are saying that the mobile site “put the YouTube App to Shame” and “the video quality beats native Apps hands down.” Mobile sites have great advantage over native applications because they allow the developer to update their App in real time, adding new features and new advertisements to generate more revenue.
Internet is the fastest growing media outlet, representing 28% of total media consumption; this is surpassed only by television. Mobile internet represents over 20% of internet traffic and is growing faster than the internet as a whole. Mobile web traffic increased by 110% last year alone, and is expected to grow even faster in coming years due do skyrocketing sales of 3G smart phones. This growth is expected to cause mobile internet usage to overtake desktop usage by the year 2014. Meaning by 2014, the number of people who view your site through the window of the mobile internet will exceed the number of views from desktops.
Many popular websites have already rolled out mobile versions, such as Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Wikipedia, Bing, eBay and all major news outlets. Mobile browsers have recently taken large steps to improve compatibility with standard websites starting with Apple’s iPhone mobile Safari, which included upgraded rendering and navigational capabilities. This allows mobile browsers to rival desktops in display quality giving mobile users full access to websites.
This does not mean they are without their shortcomings, as a heavy mobile internet user myself, I am always disappointed and irritated when I visit a website that does not render properly on my phone. Screen sizes on phones (which are the most popular mobile device by far) are relatively small, making navigation difficult on websites that aren’t optimized for mobile viewing. When viewed from a mobile device a cluttered or busy page can become all but impossible to navigate, with parts overlapping or not showing up at all, rendering an otherwise fully functional website obsolete and useless to potential customers.
A site that is not optimized for mobile view will deter viewers from staying very long and they will take their business to other, better optimized sites. If you were to visit the mobile pages of any of those sites I mentioned earlier, you would notice they are all very simple, and straightforward. There should be no clutter and ample spacing for finger navigation; links to other important pages need to be large, well placed and easily noticeable while extra content is hidden or collapsible. Users of mobile devices are generally avid users and it can be assumed that they understand the advanced functionality of compressed data techniques.
Mobile web use is accelerating very quickly, as are its abilities to accurately display websites, but due to size limitations, a mobile experience will never be the same as one on the desktop. However, that does not mean that content or the overall user experience should be abridged. It is the job of developers and content providers to accommodate for this difference in order to reach their mobile audience more readily or risk losing them.