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Presentation – Mobile Development

August 11th, 2010 by Erick Beck

Yesterday I participated in a presentation on Mobile Web Development for the university ProComm group.  Thank you to them for the opportunity and for you for listening. I hope it will encourage both use and development in the campus web presence.

For those of you interested, I have put my presentation slides online.

A few questions that were raised that weren’t covered in the presentation:

Will you sniff www.tamu.edu and redirect mobile traffic to the mobile site?
Emphatically, no.  I think this is a bad idea.  Modern phones are capable of rendering the full site pretty well. I do not condone hijacking a user’s connection and telling them what they want to see.  As we covered in the presentation, the mobile site and a full site have different content and are for different audiences.  If somebody wants to get information from the full site we should let them.  That being said, the new redesign of www.tamu.edu will make a link to the mobile site very clear so that if somebody does visit the full site they can quickly and easily see that we have a mobile site and go there if they so choose.

Have you incorporated HTML 5 into the mobile site?
We have not. The current site was actually designed for backward compatibility even with older WAP phones.  I also doubt that we will include it in the next generation of the site.  I do recognize that it can do some great things and that it will make for a revolution in web design, but currently it is not a complete specification and has not been finalized by the W3C.  We might nibble around the edges of some of the core elements that likely won’t change, but I’m not ready yet to fully take the plunge and convert all the way.

Do you have plans to put Code Maroon or other emergency information on the site?
Yes, we do anticipate adding this information on the front page.  This will include other non-emergency but still need-to-know information such as snow day closures and such.

What kind of marketing have you done to increase awareness?
I will add a bit to what Diane said when this question was addressed to her.  As well as the cards that she showed you, we are also working with our site partners to help get the word out.  This makes sense because they are the owners of the content that we all want advertised.  So Transportation Services, for example, has started running advertisements for m.tamu.edu on their marquis screens.  Dining services is also joining in and will be printing the URL on table tents, menus, and in the eating establishments.  This type of advertising is more effective than anything we can do on our own.  We saw traffic to the site double, for example, the day after the bus marquis started running.

If I forgot one of the questions please forgive me and send me a reminder note.  The door is always open for new questions as well so send anything you want to know and we’ll be happy to answer.

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Wednesday, August 11th, 2010 Mobile Web, Multimedia
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