Australian Companies Concentrating On Mobile Site Development (At Last!)

One of our recurring themes here at Lifehacker is how building a mobile-friendly site is usually a more sensible approach than building apps. It seems local companies might finally be taking notice: one recent survey suggests 75 per cent plan to invest in mobile web sites over the next year.

A survey of 75 developers at the user conference for web content management software company Squiz also found that around half planned to improve their social media integration as well. That's welcome news, provided those same developers pay attention to what already annoys us about mobile sites.


Comments

    Woohoo! Really, was getting sick of companies making 'apps' that were basically webapps anyway.

    I presented at that conference on the subject of responsive web design. The idea is to build a website that adapts to an range of different viewing devices rather than having a separate mobile website, which in turn has many advantages over an application.
    Apps can get expensive to support in addition to a website.

    I think some serious thought needs to go into what warrants an app, and what is best kept as a (mobile friendly) website.

    Mudgee's recent tourism app is a great example. Sure it does provide an easy way of providing valuable tourism information at the traveller's fingertips, but I can't imagine it being that worthwhile that it warrants installing a whole app for the job. Domino's new app suffers a similar problem - yeah I eat pizza, but not that much it warrants a dedicated app for the job.

    On the other hand though, apps do have an advantage where a mobile website could be data hungry. As we all know, 3G coverage can be patchy, and isn't lightning fast, so having imagery stored locally and ready to go does have its appeal.

    Really it comes down to what kind of audience you're targeting. If you expect a wide dynamic of visitors, which will only occasionally communicate with your site, a mobile site is the way to go. If you're expecting your audience to be regular and frequent patrons, a dedicated app undoubtedly has an edge for convenience.

    Of course, none of this is looking at the hurdles that are faced with designing for various different software platform and devices...

      >yeah I eat pizza, but not that much it warrants a dedicated app for the job.

      Unless Apple has allowed flash, i dont think you really get a choice?

    "..one recent survey suggests 75 per cent plan to invest in mobile web sites over the next year"

    Which recent survey?

      Apparently it's http://www.squiz.com.au which was revealed to me by a quick google search..

    The Boston globe website is a great examole of good design, open it in a browser and no matter what size you have your window it looks good.

      This is the approach I favour. A fair bit of testing is needed to get it working well on a range of browsers and mobile devices, however this will often be more cost effective than building, testing, and maintaining a series of apps for different devices.

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