This changes everything
June 29th, 2007, the first iPhone was released. Thank you, Steve.
Oct 29th, 2008, the first Android signaled the rise of a real competitor.
Aug 12, 2010, BlackBerry finally got its head in the game with OS6.
Sept 27th, 2011, Windows Phone 7.5 brings Microsoft up to par.
Today, the Mobile web is growing 8x faster than desktop web.
Mobile web is forecast to surpass desktop web by 2015A
Now that every major mobile platform supports modern web standards and a rich apps market,
- The mobile web was actually usable. Even enjoyable.
- Email doesn't require a clunky keyboard eating up half your handset.
- GPS is actually useful for more than just 911.
- Your phone is your music player, camera, and photo album.
- We are continually connected to our social graph
Almost overnight, smartphones have become the center of our digital universes and in a very real sense, the first truly personal computer. It's always with us, it's always on. It knows where we are and what's around us. It keeps us connected to our social graph. It allow us to look up anything we want to know at a moment's notice. So, have you looked at your website on a smartphone?
Is you website ready? Are your customers greeted with something tailored to their device or with a tiny scaled down experience that forces them to pinch-zoom to get anything done? What are you waiting for?! The future is here. It's just not evenly distributed.
The Mobile Growth Curve
This chart from Morgan Stanley Research illustrates the growth of internet related technologies within 20 quarters or their release. See that little green line? That's the growth rate of mobile web. At that rate, how long until people expect your website to have a mobile friendly view?
This is the kind of market research that is a continuous subject of study at Roughly Brilliant. The market is not standing still and neither are we. If you're with us, we'll be watching out for you too and keeping you advised of the latest trends and how to use them to your advantage.
If you're still not convinced of the need for going mobile, you should check out this presentation from Luke Wroblewski. Luke was the Chief Design Architect at Yahoo! and Lead User Interface Designer of eBay Inc.’s platform team. These are the kinds of people that we follow at Roughly Brilliant.
There's More Than One Way to Skin a ... Website
In fact, there are three ways to make a mobile website:
- Start from scratch and create a site from the ground up in such a way that it renders well on both desktop, tablet, and mobile browsers. This is referred to as "Responsive Web Design" and it is an amazing feat to pull off. A superb example of this can be found at the bostonglobe.com. It is literally one site that adapts to the device on which it is viewed.
- Create a separate website that was meant to be viewed exclusively on a mobile device. It is usually coded from scratch and lives on it's own address like "m.thisandthat.com" or "thisandthat.mobi." There is nothing inherently wrong with this approach. In fact, it's quite common and is a good way to start providing customers what they're looking for without having to re-create your site from the ground up.
- Creating your mobile website as a subset of your primary website on the same domain using a mobile framework to adapt your content where you can and create dedicated mobile pages where necessary. The advantages to this approach are too numerous layout here.
Standing on the Backs of Giants
Naturally, creating unified, responsive websites is the ideal situation. However, starting over from scratch is rarely an option. So, what is the best way to get started crating your mobile website? Yes, we could custom craft your mobile website from scratch, test it on the plethora of devices, and tweak to make up for the differences. But that would be tantamount to felling a forest with hand tools to create boards for building your house. Inevitably, some will find these equally impractical notions somehow endearing and tout their merits. It has been done but the results are typically not pretty and do not function well across different devices. In the rare instances where that approach does work well, it's very expensive. Mobile frameworks resolve many of these issues and thus enable rapid development with more consistent results.
Our framework of choice is jQuery Mobile because it is completely brilliant. Our thanks go out to Todd Parker, Scott Jehl, and the rest of the community that created this masterpiece.
We've been creating sites in jQuery Mobile almost since the project's inception. We have the experience to not only leverage it quickly and efficiently, but also to bend it to our will when we need something more custom. We've created JQM sites from scratch and we've built them to integrate with corporate content management systems.
We are more than ready to help you develop your mobile web strategy.
Perhaps you're ready for a mobile website of your own. Perhaps you have a small shop of developers who need some training in mobile. Maybe you're an executive wanting to learn more about the mobile space and what it can do for your company.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AAccording to a 2010 report from Morgran Stanley research, mobile web will outpace desktop web by 2015.