Tag Archives: cellphone

Ready For a Mobile Site? Rethink Everything!

Based on a recent study by Mongoose Metrics, only 9% of all the websites in the world are optimized for mobile devices. And yet more and more people are viewing sites on smartphones and tablets. That means your site is probably failing a large part of your audience.
So you need to make your site mobile-ready. Think it’s easy? Nope. You have to
rethink everything.
Rethink Design
A lot of clients I speak to think that “mobile optimization” means just shrinking
their site to fit on a smaller screen. There’s much more to it. Because of the
different needs of a mobile user and the different experience of a phone, the
entire design has to change. This means bringing in your creative director (or
using
our fantastic one) to craft a new look and feel for the site, while keeping your branding. Seem like a big step? It’s only the beginning…
Rethink Navigation
Everything must be scaled down for a mobile site. Only the most important sections should remain, and they should all be prominently on the homepage. Compare the Famers Insurance website to its mobile site. The many options and documents have been reduced to just four items: reporting a claim, paying their bill, finding an
agent, and browsing products. If you want to ensure users have access to more
information, you can always include a link to your full site.

Farmers Insurance: From this…
 
…to this.
Rethink Text
There’s only so much room on a mobile screen, so try to keep text to a minimum. Most of the navigation should be done through buttons, large words, and clear icons. Look at AT&T’s mobile careers site. Notice how they divide their departments by icons, with very small text below. On a “normal” website, these options could
be simple text links. But for a mobile site, you should never make your
visitors squint.
 
AT&T Careers emphasizes icons over text
Rethink Experience
See? The mobile experience is very different from a desktop one. Big graphic
files or videos, which usually aren’t an issue, must now be weighed against
the time it takes for them to load. Avoid Flash animation, since most mobile
devices don’t currently support Flash. And different mobile operating systems
are like different web browsers; what looks great on an iPhone may not
look good on a Samsung Galaxy.
A great example of a totally “rethought” mobile site is Loews Hotels. The
site uses the phone’s GPS to find the nearest hotel and offers four
simple choices: Visit, call, map, or book now. Navigation on the homepage is a
simple scrolling menu with photos, short descriptions, and buttons large enough
for a thumb. Choosing “Contact Us” at the top offers the option to “Click here
to book through a mobile device,” in case users missed it. It’s a clean,
simple, informative mobile experience. No wonder it won the Web Marketing
Association’s award for
Outstanding Achievement in Mobile.
Loews Hotels’ award-winning mobile site
Want to learn more about creating a great mobile site? Use your smartphone as a phone (gasp!) and call us at 212-947-1001.

Just when you thought you were cool, augmented reality bites HR

You’ve already created a careers page that’s separate from your main site. You’re posting news and photos on your Facebook careers page and talking to applicants on your Twitter careers profile. You’ve set up your company’s Careers tab on LinkedIn and put videos of your office life on YouTube. What’s next?

Get ready to add AR to your HR. AR stands for augmented reality, an exciting new technology that will change many of our interactions with the world, including job searching. What is it? Applications that use augmented reality overlay links, images, and information onto whatever you’re viewing on your mobile device’s screen. In a way, it’s no different than the scoreboard superimposed over the live broadcast of a baseball game. But in other ways, it’s a whole lot more.

Review sites such as Yelp! forsee using augmented reality to get information on whatever restaurants are around you. You’ll be able to simply point your smartphone at a restaurant’s storefront and see information displayed over the image, such as reviews, menu prices, or even the restaurant’s history. Point your phone at a crowded bar and you may be able to find people who are currently tweeting, or logged into Facebook – or looking to date.

The possibilities for recruiting are obvious. With the right app, a job-seeker could point their phone at a building or office and immediately see what positions are available. Links would appear that lead to videos of employee testimonials. The job-seeker would be able to have an application form sent to them by email, or even to schedule an interview – after all, they’re already holding their phone! Both the ease and the “wow factor” of such an innovative process will make sure that your company stands out in the crowded employment marketplace.

In fact, CareerBuilder is already pursuing this technology, as is CompanySpot in the Netherlands. The Dutch employment firm, which provides information on salaries and benefits to job-seekers, declares on its website, “What exactly is happening behind the large glass door of the headquarters across the street? Point your mobile at the building and you’ll know.”

Augmented reality applications for talent recruiting aren’t quite here yet, but they’re coming. Just as companies that scoffed at marketing on Facebook and Twitter eventually realized their mistake, recruiters who dismiss AR may soon find themselves scrambling to keep up. I’m excited about the possibilities that augmented reality offers and I’ll track its progress, both here and at my LinkedIn group Your Digital Brand.

So enjoy “regular” reality while you can – it’s about to get augmented!