Mobify Weekly (11/04) - Do Mobile Users Prefer Browsers Over Apps?

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new issue of Mobify Weekly! Below are some interesting stories that we've run across during the week and wanted to share with all of you.

"If a business doesn’t have a website that performs on mobile phones, then 44% consumers will blame the brand" (Internet Retailing) Your visitors will make preconceptions about your business from the way your mobile site functions. Poor mobile optimization, slow loading time, or your site not loading at all do not look good for your brand and it might take a while before your customers attempt to visit your website from a handheld device again.

CNN Mobile Election Traffic – Unique Visitors Up 30%, Page Views Up 42% (Poynter) If these numbers do not appear staggering on their own, let's look at some hard data: 2.2 million unique mobile visitors, 7.3 million mobile page views during a four week average. It looks like CNN Mobile has had a blowout month and this just shows that users are becoming more than open to reading news using their mobile browsers.

Do Mobile Users Prefer Browsers Over Apps? (eMarketer) Games, social media, and music were the only categories in which mobile web gave way to mobile apps in Adobe's recent poll results. The mobile web dominated in the other six categories. It looks like the reign of the mobile web is finally upon us and the numbers speak for themselves.

Product Availability Tops Consumers’ Mobile Commerce Wish List (eMarketer) Shoppers expect the be able to browse products, look up their availability, and place orders right from their mobile devices. Going into the Holiday season it will be interesting to see how many online retailers will be prepared for the rise in mobile traffic.

M-Commerce Bringing in the Younger Shopping Crowd (Ecommerce Junkie) Currently, most of the mobile commerce activity is coming from the younger demographic who are most active on their mobile devices. The stats, of course, are unlikely to stay fixed for long as the adoption curve is rapidly growing but for the time being marketers are primarily engaging the younger consumer market through the mobile medium.

How mobile will impact the 2010 holiday shopping season (Mobile Commerce Daily) Customers are expecting online outlets to offer a solid mobile shopping experience and the article discusses various mobile commerce implementation strategies.

How Mobile Is Your Enterprise? (MIT Technology Review) MIT Business weighs in on the current state of mobile and what's coming in the near future, while stressing how important it is for organizations to stay with the progress curve and put some thought into their mobile strategy.

82M Users On The Mobile Web, Finance Vertical Grows 800% (Mobile Marketing Watch) The mobile web continues to grow at an incredible pace that will soon eclipse desktop stats. Interestingly, financial sector is the fastest growing vertical.

Mobile web design tips: mobile should come first (TechRadar) With the rise of the smart mobile device market there is a serious case for designers to think mobile first when it comes to new online projects.

Want to See the Future of Mobile Web Apps? Just Watch Google (GigaOM) Google is bearing the HTML5 torch thanks to the effort it's been putting into making GMail and YouTube mobile web compatible. New update to the GMail interface is a testament to that.

That's it for today! Have a fantastic rest of the week we'll see you all next Thursday!

Interview with MakeUseOf's Jackson Chung

Last week we had the privilege of interviewing Jackson Chung, Associate Editor at MakeUseOf on the topic of mobile web. MakeUseOf is a technology & internet apps blog that gets 7 million monthly pageviews and has over 340,000 subscribers. Their mobile site is powered by Mobify.

MakeUseOf logo

KIRILL: Please describe MakeUseOf's mobile strategy and how Mobify factors into it.

JACKSON: Our mobile strategy is simple: we aim to provide our mobile readers with desktop-like experience on a mobile platform. In other words, we try to implement as much as we can into our mobile site in order to retain maximum functionality. And because MakeUseOf has several very distinct sections i.e. our main feed, Answers and Geeky Fun; we mustn't compromise functionality for portability. This proved quite a task for a person with no prior web-design experience to undertake. Luckily, the Mobify design team lent us a hand and we got the mobile site running pretty smoothly ever since.


JACKSON: One thing that we're especially proud of is the fact that we managed to integrate Mobify into our MakeUseOf iPhone and Android apps. Once the user clicks a link in these apps, it will redirect to the mobile site. We decided to go with this strategy for a number of reasons: it saved us a lot of time because the app developer didn't need to render another version of our site; we managed to maintain a uniform mobile interface for the user; and any changes made to the mobile site will be reflected in both of our apps instantly. So you could say that we're relying heavily on Mobify to power not only our mobile site, but is the heart of our iPhone and Android apps as well.

KIRILL: In your opinion, what does 2011 hold in store for mobile web?

JACKSON: With the rapidly increasing number of mobile users today, along with their insatiable hunger for instant information, websites have no choice but to conform in order to retain their readership. Nowadays, users want almost everything on-demand. Website should be optimised to load quickly, if not almost immediately. In 2011, I predict that every major website will finally have a mobile version of their site or at least a mobile app.

KIRILL: How do you see mobile advertising evolving in the near future?

JACKSON: Mobile advertising is a touchy subject because it affects me on a personal level. On the desktop, readers don't mind the conventional ad. But on the mobile platform, every little bit of screen estate counts and so does bandwidth. My hope for mobile advertising is for publishers/webmasters to consider the fact that users don't want to see the conventional banner ads. Mobile ads should integrate nicely with the design and not stand out like a sore thumb.

KIRILL: Do you think that the line between desktop and mobile web is getting blurred and, if so, how quickly are we approaching that point?

JACKSON: Indeed, mobile sites have evolved quite a fair bit since the very first iterations. Ten years ago, a mobile site consisted of only text. Today, we're seeing marvellously designed mobile webpages that's almost identical to their full-version counterpart. Soon, we will barely be able to distinguish if the mobile site is actually a scaled-down version of the full site. However, achieving that will depend on how easy it is for anyone to create a mobile version of their site.

KIRILL: What would you recommend to websites that do not yet have a mobile strategy in place?

JACKSON: Websites that currently do not offer a mobile version will eventually lose out because their readers aren't able to get to what they want instantly. I'd highly recommend looking into creating a mobile site, even if that means stripping down their website to its bare essentials. It's still a good start and better than nothing.

On behalf of the whole team at Mobify I'd like to thank Jackson for his time.

Mobify Weekly (10/28) - Mobile browsing a consumer hit

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new issue of Mobify Weekly. Here are some interesting stories that we've come across this week. Enjoy!

Mobile browsing a consumer hit Best practice for any company is to have all of its bases covered on both desktop and mobile. Covering all fronts by investing in both mobile web and mobile apps offers a significant competitive advantage.

This mobile web thing is getting serious The Yankee Group regularly reviews mobile websites and hands out awards for best user experience. Google tops the rankings and the competition is stiff all across the board which will only get more intense, particularly in the e-commerce sector. tops $1 million in quarterly m-commerce sales The online retailer giant's mobile sales went from $10,000 in Summer of 2009 to $1 million for the first quarter of fiscal 2011. These numbers appear staggering until the rising adopting rate of smartphones is taken into account.

How mobile websites, Web apps, and HTML5 are good for everyone In just two short years the number of mobile sites rose from 150,000 to a staggering 3.01 million. With widespread adoption, all the buzz around HTML 5, and traffic growth charts that show no signs of decline we're confident that the next set of metrics will make these last two years seem minuscule in comparison.

Help stop the spread of NIBS (Native is Better Syndrome) We like the acronym and approve of the sentiment. Mobile web has already surpassed native apps in some regards and shows no signs of stopping as more and more websites optimize for mobile.

Mobile web nears tipping point Interesting stats on how many websites have gone mobile as well as the overview of the two pioneers, Facebook and Google who have clearly dedicated a lot of resources into their mobile strategies.

Little or No Mobile Strategy in Most Companies, says Forrester Some worrying statistics shed light on the fact that most companies are unprepared for what the mobile web has in store, despite reports of sky rocketing mobile traffic and mobile growth forecasts for the near future.

Greystripe CEO Calls Q4 The "Blowout Quarter For Mobile Advertising," Predicts 600% Growth Just in time for the Holiday rush the traffic numbers on all mobile fronts seemed to have hit the tipping point. With such incredibly positive Q4 predictions, we're pondering what 2011 might have in store for the industry.

Have a fantastic rest of the week and see you all next Thursday!

All hail the adaptable web

The responsive web meme was kicked off by Ethan Marcotte's excellent post of the same name. In his post, Ethan describes how media queries can be used to build sites with the ability to hide elements for smaller screen sizes. For example to create an iphone-specific styling you could use the following CSS:

  1. @media screen and (min-width: 321px) { /\* do something for iphones in landscape \*/}

But the responsive web isn't good enough to take us where we need to go to create a beautiful mobile-optimized site.  Jason Grigsby does a good job summarizing the problems with the responsive web.  In an article titled Media Queries are Fool's Gold he shows that media queries are not a panacea for solving mobile optimization. The crux of his argument is that this approach reduces content for mobile, and does nothing to optimize it.  Furthermore, there are serious technical limitations.  If you're using media queries to show high-resolution images specific for desktop, then those will be downloaded on mobile even if they aren't displayed. But if the responsive web is fool's gold, Jason's proposed solution of custom built web mobile sites is an abandoned mine... with a lot of toxic cleanup left to do.

Custom mobile development is a dead end for content or brand sites.  Building a good one (think Amazon, or Ebay) requires a similar design/content work-effort as creating a desktop site. Often they require their own backend. Content gets fragmented.  Maintenance is a nightmare.  And then a new device comes along that changes everything.

The future is the adaptable web -- and it's like the responsive web, only turned up to 11.  In the adaptable web, it's not about hiding content from mobile users, it's about remixing everything in your site.

Let's take a step back and look at the future of adapting content. Adapting content for different types of devices is not going to be just a temporary phenomenon limited to our current transition period of new devices.  With the flurry of announcements in the past few months of a number of new tablet style devices, not to mention the launch of a renewed Windows Mobile platform, there's every indication that we're going to see a dramatically expanded ecosystem of devices, screen types and interaction methods for the foreseeable future. Providing completely different content silos for every platform is not a viable option for most organizations with this kind of complexity in the market place.  What we need is infinitely adaptable remixing -- the ability to mix up any type of content anywhere, for any type of device.  We need the adaptable web.

Today, Mobify offers a best-of-breed mobile adaption layer that provides exactly the kind of infinitely adaptable remixing to future-proof your design.  We remove all the technical challenges that limit media-queries, including scaling asset sizes and supporting complete reordering, blending and optimization of your content -- while still allowing you to use media queries where they're best suited (yup, we support them!).

Mobify is focused on creating the best possible mobile web experience and bringing this experience to as many sites as we can.  dotMobi reports that just 29% of the top 10000 Alexa sites on the internet have a mobile optimized presence. But the situation is far worse than the report suggests.  Of those 29%, a significant number offer only a mobile ghetto -- a mobile "optimized" site that is actually optimal for only one family of mobile devices, or limits mobile users to a tiny portion of the site content and functionality. Clearly there's a long way to go to making the web a better place for those of us out and about with our handsets.

As the device market diversifies, Mobify will continue to deliver a solution that remixes, adapts and optimizes site content and functionality.  We'll have solutions whether you need to adapt to smaller screens, touch displays or future interaction methods we can only guess at.

Take Your Site Mobile - Mobify Webinar

It's that time again! A new live webinar is coming this Thursday, Oct 28 at 1pm PT / 4pm ET. Mark your calendars! If you're just getting started with Mobify or would like to brush up on your mobile design, we'd love to have you join us!

We are very excited and are looking forward to getting a chance to see all of you! Can't make it this Thursday? No problem! You can find all our recorded webinars on our blog! Hope to see you all this Thursday!

Meeting information

Topic: Mobify Webinar

Date: Thursday, October 28, 2010

Time: 1:00 pm, Pacific Daylight Time (San Francisco, GMT-07:00)

Meeting Number: 800 846 747

Meeting Password: mobile

To start or join the online meeting

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Call-in toll number (US/Canada): +1-408-600-3600

Access code:800 846 747