Aquire a mobile web site?

The development in mobile web runs at an incredible speed . This also means that many companies are trying to take a share of the mobile pie. We know for example that many of our partners receive daily calls from vendors all over Sweden, with " fantastic " deals. ­

A so called "super deal" we heard about was a municipality that was offered a mobile adaptation of their entire site of well over 10 000 pages, for SEK 3900: - (≈ EUR 400) with delivery the same day.

In fact, it is possible!

Automated ada­ption

If a site is built according to modern standards, it is possible to mechanically modify the site so that it automatically becomes a mobile site. But the outcome depends entirely on how the original site was previously coded. You have no control whatsoever over the outcome.

You can compare it to Google Translate - you get passable idea of what is said, but it is never correct. In short - this is not a good solution!

But how shall we handle it?

Some examples of what you have to consider are listed below.

Why ?

Obviosly the first questions would be :

  • Why should we have a mobile site ?
  • Do we have any practical use of it?

If yes , there are quite a few more questions:

Parts or all?
  • What information should be accessible in the mobile site ? Is it important that each document can be viewed or downloaded ? Would it be important that all information is accessible ?
  • Or is there any specific information to be handled by the mobile site? E g hours of operation for municipal facilities, basic data on contacts, phone numbers ? Or something else?
  • Wil you involve information from all parts of the adminstrat ? Or do you start with some aspects ? Or certain parts ?

Which devices ?

Once you know what should be mobile , we have a bit more technical issues to discuss

  • What mobile devices will you support ? Phones ? eReaders? what sizes ?
  • What does this implicate from a technical point of view? Will you create 2-3 fixed sizes depending on the mobile device reading the information? Or will you make a "responsive design " on your primary web site ? Ie a design that adapts itself to the visitor ?

Who ?

Who is going to be responsible? What designers will decide what it should look like? Who takes the internal responsibility of the mobile web site ? Who makes sure that it is kept up to date as the development progresses ?

Strategy

As we see it the transition to a mobile site is as big a decision, as when you decide to create a completely new web. You can't do that without a strategy. Some of the questions are mentioned above, but there are many more - not least the issues of internal processes and responsibilities.

Our advice - get a "channel strategy"!

Our advice is simple and short : Take it easy !

Make a decision to acquire a channel strategy, ie a strategy on what different media channels will contain , from where information is retrieved , how the internal processes look like and who is responsible .

Then, maybe, it's time for a mobile site !

Hillar Loor
Senior partner
2012-02-15