A Case Study in Developing and Managing a Mobile Web Site.
Mobile users are jumping on the web!
"In a dense, 87-page report, Morgan Stanley analysts have charted the most important online trends and predicted the future of the Internet. In addition to forecasting more online shopping and showing the geographical distribution of Internet users, the study also shows a dramatic shift toward mobile web use." -Mashable Tech. - Click to read the whole story.
There are more and more studies reflecting what the Morgan Stanleys analyst found ... Mobile users are jumping on the web.
With travel sites and gaming sites seeing a growing trend in Mobile usage they are turning to numerous mobile strategies such as Reactive Site Design and Mobile Redirect. Reactive Sight Design is creating one web site that will morphe to fit the accessing device. ie. PC or Mobile Phone. Mobile Redirect is a technology that identifies the browser being used and delivers a custom template for the relative device. ie. Mobile phone, PC, Tablet, etc.
When the Palace Casino Resort decided to build a mobile web site there were a few decisions and challenges. What type of devices do we design for? What development strategy do we use? How do we make the mobile site management easy and seamless with the existing site?
What type of devices do we design for?
The Palace Casino Resort's main target for mobile development was smart phones. ie. Android and iphone specifically. While tablets are becoming more popular, they where not the focus for the Palace's mobile initiative. In most cases regular web site work fine on tablet devices.
What development strategy do we use?
For the Palace Casino Resort mobile web site CCF Consulting used Mobile Redirect. The advantages that Mobile Redirect has over Reactive Site Design is that you can specify what content is displayed on the mobile site (all or part), you can have a unique template that is designed especially for the mobile device, and when using reactive site design you end up with code heavy pages which increase the chance of errors for the end user.
The way that mobile redirect works is that when an Internet search is made at Yahoo! or Google one of the variable that comes with the search request is what browser type is being used. When the server sees a mobile browser request it sends a mobile fitted template instead of the standard PC enabled template.
How do we make the mobile site management easy and seamless with the existing site?
The main challenge for the Palace Casino is to make sure that when the information is changed in one place that these changes are reflected every where. Important information for the Palace Casino includes hotel pricing, gaming promotions, amenities hours, and any additional information that is used to market the property.
Since the Palace Casino Resort was using DNN (Dot Net Nuke) for its content management system the solution was to use build a mobile skin / template that works within their existing framework. CCF set the system up so that Palace Casino staff can change any information on the main web site and it automatically displays the one change on all sites - PC and Mobile.
Building the Mobile Web Site
Once the technology was choosen the task of actually building the site began. The next concern was that the site carry the same look and feel of the existing web site. This includes color scheme, logos, and general over-all appearance. The end user should be able to view the web site on their PC at work or home, and then access the mobile site from a smart phone and feel like the experience is the same. If the client does not realize that they are actually looking at a different template / site design then the site would be an aesthetic success.
More more information on Mobile Web Site Design please contact CCF Consulting, Inc. at 1.228.867.6008 or 1.888.445.8694 .