Taking Your Website Responsive for Tablets, Mobile Phones and Desktops
Posted by Kelli C. Pippin on January 27, 2014 | Comment (4)
Everything we know and read today tells us that mobile usage has exploded and will continue to grow. We learned as much (and much more) in our Britt Technology Impact Series (BTIS) on mobility a few years back and even today, Morgan Stanley's analysts believe that, based on the current rate of change and adoption, the mobile web will be bigger than desktop Internet use by 2015. How is a marketer to reach these mobile users best?
The answer to that question is hotly debated in digital circles and has been for some time - do people spend more time in their apps or do they use their browser when on their handheld or tablet? We closely considered all sides of this debate two years ago and continue to stay abreast of the conversation even today. But we're in academia - we have a limited budget and we have to make choices while exploring new technologies that are available to enterprises and individuals. So, when we had to make a decision two years ago at budget time, we decided to add to our app arsenal and created quite possibly our most beautiful and most-adopted digital asset in our iPad App. Our friends at Blue Pane Studio worked with us to create an elegant frame to house our extensive learning library and resources. We added this iPad content app to our established event app (Blue Pane Studio developed one for iOS and one for Android) that supports BTIS. We created a few iBooks as well but we left our website itself unresponsive.
But last year at budget time, we realized the attraction to go responsive had grown. Not only could we reprogram our website to render well across all phone sizes, tablets and desktops –- we also had the opportunity to make our current CMS function as a content manager for all of our digital assets. What this means for us is we’ve essentially realized what many call a fantasy of: “one web.” Using our established CMS which is called ExpressionEngine, the talented teams at Tempest Interactive Media and Kline Interactive worked with Blue Pane Studio to create APIs that now push out to our iPad app and out to both BTIS apps, while also populating our adaptive and responsive website. The technology on the new responsive website utilizes Server Side Detection technology, which eliminates a common complaint about Responsive Design: speed! Server Side Detection identifies the type of device our visitors are using and dynamically optimize the images and scripts relayed to their devices. This dramatically improves mobile and tablet experiences and as a whole, the new “one web” experience is proving to be a content marketer’s dream come true!
So ultimately, for us, it wasn't a question of one or the other (responsive website or mobile apps) but instead it was a question of how to create both using one CMS. Have you visited our site on multiple devices -- if you have, what do you think of the responsiveness?