The term “mobile web” means accessing the web via mobile device—a vexingly broad definition that covers everything from using a browser on a feature-phone to using highly customized apps on smartphones or tablets.
Thus the mobile arena introduces a layer of complexity that can be difficult for developers to accommodate—it’s not just a matter of building for multiple screen sizes, but also multiple browsers and platforms. Furthermore, user expectations of the mobile web continue to grow and evolve, ever changing the mobile user experience.
Nevertheless, mobile web is practically essential to our business and our clients’ businesses. Data collected from our own platforms illustrates that over half of our sites’ traffic is coming from mobile users. So we do it. In property management, that means focusing on mobile sites (as opposed to mobile apps or responsive design).
We have a goal-oriented approach to mobile sites.
Good mobile sites and apps are about simplicity and doing a few things well. This means being selective about the functionality on every tiny screen. So we focus on information hierarchy and the goals a user might have when using the mobile site. Typically it’s necessary to actually watch users doing things on mobile to get a full picture. That can be a real eye-opener.
We think about the user's whereabouts.
In property management sectors, it makes sense to assume that users will be out and about when accessing mobile sites. Their needs are different than mobile users who are hanging around the house or club just browsing.
We develop to best practices.
People are used to pages and features that orient them to what’s available and give them a foundation for functionality. Without recognizable foundations, discovering and browsing content can be disorienting and frustrating. We provide home pages, make it clear what’s touchable, and we avoid cutesy navigations that clutter and distract the user from reaching their objective.
We do responsive design, but don't always recommend it.
The assortment of devices and resolutions hitting the market seems like it will never end. Creating a website version for each of them would be impractical. That’s why “responsive design” receives so much attention—it has the potential to display one site’s content across all devices. Unfortunately, there are significant challenges to responsive-designing sites that meet all users’ expectations. So our approach is a cross between traditional web design and responsive design. The result is two-fold product: a desktop experience that users find both engaging and satisfying, and a mobile site that delivers a quick-loading interface tailored to fit smaller screens and touch interaction. The advantage of this strategy over a site built 100% with a responsive design philosophy? Desktop users get a visit that doesn't feel cheap or slapped together, and mobile users aren't stuck pinching and zooming.
We do apps too.
We have a lot of experience in app development, but we only use that experience in special cases. We avoid forcing users to download and install a mobile application when that same, custom, mobile-targeted experience can be delivered instantly with a blast of HTML 5 and other modern web technologies right in their mobile browser of choice. Don't get us wrong: there's a time and place for just about everything, and mobile apps aren't going away any time soon. If it makes sense, we'll quickly and efficiently develop an app to suit a product's needs for both of the two core app ecosystems: Apple's AppStore for iOS and Google's Play store for Android.
Our mobile dictum.
The best way to predict the future is to create it.
Why we're legit
Stuff we've done
- Mystery Ball
- B2C mobile texting
Tools we like
- We’re comfortable with the two core schools of thought: (1) completely custom apps for one or all app ecosystems, (2) one of the many excellent app accelerator frameworks to rapidly launch a cross-platform product.
David caught the entrepreneurial bug after gaining national attention for his video game designs. His boundless energy, accompanied by his passion for mobile game design, ultimately led him to cofound Red Nova Labs. He invented several mobile apps during the company’s startup-accelerator phase. Today he tackles web and mobile challenges from his Seattle office. As a tech-addict that just can't get enough of the latest and greatest gadgets and gizmos, David always has his finger in the air sensing for the winds of change and evolution.