Tag Archives: mobile

Does your website have a mobile version?

photo credit @Flickr .m for matthijs

It was reported today that consumers spend more time on mobile apps than on the web. Really this is no surprise. It is the way the world works, big things become smaller and smaller as technology gets better and better. If we could go back in time and start the computer revolution today, no-one would design a big box that sits in a special room in your house as a way to get online. If we started from scratch, we’d probably begin with something a bit more “iphone-like”. Small, portable and always connected to the web.

Laptops are shrinking into “pads” and desktops are more and more specialized professional tools, which brings me to today’s question:

Do you have a mobile version of your website, version that looks good on a small screen and is easy to navigate? Have you even checked?

If you’re working with an open CMS system like WordPress, or something even more cutting edge like Posterous, you are probably fine.

If you know what a wordpress plugin is, you might try one of these out.

If these don’t mean much to you, then go and check out your website on a mobile app.

Here’s a tip: if your site has pretty moving things on the screen when you look at it, it’s most likely using Flash. And what does Flash mean? It means that no-one with an iPhone can access your site, and many others will quickly lose patience and go elsewhere rather than watch your site load. If you’re using flash, get a new site.

Your customers are more likely today to find you while navigating on their phone, than on a laptop. If they can’t interact with your site you will be losing customers and fans!

Any questions?

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You don’t “need” an app for your wine business

Recently I was talking to a friend who was doing project management on a mobile phone app for a department within the Catalan government. Voicing his many general frustrations with working for the government, there was one particular issue that caught my ear.

He stated that all they seemed to know about the project when they approached him was that they “needed” an app. Loosely, they knew they could do something with maps in the city of Barcelona, but most importantly they “needed” an app.

Let me be absolutely clear, no one needs an app.

What people do need is to solve problems, or simplify elements of one’s business or job. These are the starting points. No one would say “I need a shovel”, then go out and buy a shovel without knowing what you’re going to use it for. If you need to dig a small hole, you buy a shovel. That said once you know the size of the hole you need, you might decide that a shovel is  the wrong tool.

I know “apps” are in fashion but a useless app built only for the sake of “having an app” is not only a waste of money, but can reflect negatively on your product overall. Asking your consumers to download an app when they visit your site builds expectations, and if when they decide to download it all they get is the same content you have on your website already, but in a smaller, less convenient form, you’re not thinking of your consumer, but rather your ego.

That said, there are a lot of things today that could and would benefit from having an app, but rather than thinking about the app first, figure out the problem, develop a solution and consider whether an “app” is the best way to solve the problem.