Information on the go – the move to mobile
The concept of the web in your pocket is far from a new one – WAP and iMode have been available on feature phones since before the turn of the millennium – but the advent of the smartphone, and fast 3G and 4G data networks, have resulted in a fundamental shift in how people find and consume information. And if you’ve noticed family members, colleagues, or fellow commuters poking at a portable screen of some sort, you’ll probably not be too surprised to learn that mobile makes up at least 10% of all internet traffic, and it’s growing fast.
Understanding how mobile changes an audience’s experience – and expectations – of your content is a challenge that many publishers are still catching up with. Some publishers, such as the BMJ Group, have developed Apps that act as windows onto their content, allowing subscribers to access information on the move; however, libraries and publishers alike frequently run into administrative roadblocks when trying to cater for remote users, as Judy Luther discusses on the SSP’s Scholarly Kitchen blog.
A large part of the challenge in adapting content for mobile is the myriad hardware configurations that your customers are likely to be using. Device-aware site designs that automatically display for visitors using a mobile device might be ideal for pocket-sized screens, but impractical on a tablet; responsive web design overcomes such issues to provide an optimal viewing experience on any screen size but can make for higher testing and design overheads; and platform-native Apps can play to the strengths of individual devices, but can be very expensive to develop and support.
Our upcoming TBI Masterclass, Going Mobile, looks at ways in which the rise of mobile will affect how your customers interact with your content. For more details, and to register for what is quickly becoming our most popular Masterclass session, click here.