The New World of Digital Development

Posted by Kelli C. Pippin on November 19, 2012 | Comment (10)

The New World of Digital Development Photo

If your content isn't mobile yet - it better be soon.

That was my take away from our deep-dive into mobile technology as well as from our visit with Roger McNamee when he proclaimed that the future of digital development is unequivocally HTML5.  Since that time, the center has created a mobile app to support our Britt Technology Impact Series (BTIS) in both android and apple as well as a gorgeous, iPad-only app to showcase our long form content. (I posted a blog entry about the iPad experience previously.) We also recently launched an iBook by taking the learnings from the BTIS look at cloud computing and making it multi-touch, interactive and consumable on an iPad.

So when Dean Johnson came to me and said, "Kelli, let's relaunch my 'Professor site' in HTML5," I wasn't surprised and was also very excited by the prospect. However, I wasn't prepared for the rollercoaster ride that lay ahead. After completing a creative brief, I posted our project on guru.com, which claims to be the largest marketplace for freelancers. The site allows you to post your project, confirm qualifications, look at reviews and browse work histories. This experience was rather interesting; within 24 hours of posting our project, we received a dozen quotes from a few firms in the states but the majority were in India, having names like Bahatech and Pro Web Solutions. Their capabilities, cost and claims were all across the board.

After selecting 6 firms that could possibly fit our requirements and budget, I began doing Skype interviews and checking references. We ended up selecting one firm out of Gujarat, India and began the process of creating a project timeline, when one of my reference checks was answered via email. The message was essentially, "DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THIS FIRM. WE PAID IN FULL AND NEVER RECEIVED A THING." That, combined with three Skype IMs and two emails from the firm requesting full payment, sent us back to the drawing board.

A contract was signed in May of 2012 with a firm based out of Pennsylvania (with developers in India.) The site launched this month. Needless to say, this was one of the most difficult projects I've ever managed. The firm was young, their process wasn't clear (to neither them nor to us) and deadlines weren't respected. Does our site look great across iPads, iPhones and android phones - you be the judge. Is it truly responsive? No, but I believe the HTML5 inherent to the site delivers some very slick functionality. 

If you are looking to make your content truly responsive, do your homework. Look at the best of breed vendors first and work your way back, (firms like Endplay.com for example) always start with the end-user experience as the ultimate goal you won't compromise on and don't let developers double-talk you with programming-language capabilities and limitations. Digitally, nearly anything really is possible today. And that's truley exciting. 

Associate Dean M. Eric Johnson


10 comments so far

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Nov 23, 2012

    Thank for share. i think UC Browser 8.7 will be the first Smart Browser support HTML5 and interactive on Ipad.

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Nov 30, 2012

    In my opinion - It is always good to read the customer satisfaction reviews about a specific company and do background analysis before approaching them for a business. You have recommended an online marketplace for hiring the free lancers (GURU). I think it is the very good website to approach any technician worldwide. Thanks for the thorough information.

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Nov 30, 2012

    The major advantage of HTML 5 is that it is possible to embed video, audio, high quality drawings, charts and animation without using plugins.

     

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Dec 6, 2012

    HTML5 is an awesome framework even I use my website.

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Dec 9, 2012

    I think this is a must. I am not sure about most people but the traffic that comes to my website is OVER 50% mobile. So if you are not taking care of this then you are potentially loosing lots of customers. I know this and this is why we are currently working day and night to get our mobile version ready. We are also developing an iPhone app to go with it as well.

    Gary

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Dec 18, 2012

    I thought I’d have to read a book for a discovery like this!

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Dec 18, 2012

    I could read a book about this without finding such real-world approachs!

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Dec 18, 2012

    That’s what we’ve all been watiing for! Great posting!

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Dec 19, 2012

    Thank you Madga and Jessalyn. Gary - are you making your entire site mobile versus doing mobile apps?

  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) Dec 20, 2012

    You have recommended an online marketplace for hiring the free lancers (GURU).I know this and this is why we are currently working day and night to get our mobile version ready. We are also developing an iPhone app to go with it as well.

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