We take a lot of things for granted? Like mobile website design. If you awakened one morning, turned on your smartphone and none of your apps worked, what would you do?
Would you stare at a blank dark screen and only make phone calls? Or would you hit the browser button taking you to a mobile website that was created by a mobile Website design expert? Even without addictive apps, you’d still have your mobile caffeine fix.
In our smartphone app world, we sometimes forget about the importance of the mobile Internet and mobile websites.
Show me a great application software program, a masterpiece of mobile app development, and I’ll bet you a dollar (make it $5) that it would die quickly without Web content from a website, blog or another webpage floating through Cyberspace.
As consumers continue upgrading to mobile smartphones (soon to reach 50%+ penetration in the U.S.), companies will experience negative consumer reaction if their websites are not mobile-friendly.
Consumer expectations, especially among what mobile researcher Joy Liuzzo calls “mobile intensives,” are high. Joy claims that intensives use virtually every smartphone function including Web surfing. Moreover, they influence their friends about the best phones on the market, carrier quality and especially their favorite websites. That’s why it’s critical that professionals in mobile Web design create remarkable, easy to navigate sites.
Mobile Website Design at Trilibis
Ted Verani at Trilibis, a mobile website design company, mentioned in our audio interview that 80% of major brands and companies still lack a mobile website.Yet Jumptap, a mobile advertising start-up, recently discovered that 58% of mobile users get much of their content from surfing the Internet.
Making sure mobile websites display correctly falls on Verani and Trilibis Mobile. Founded in 2002, Trilibis has helped companies such as Match.com, Citysearch, Evite, NASCAR, NFL and American Idol create mobile Web design solutions. To support its development efforts, Trilibis created SmartPath®, a flexible mobile publishing platform, that streamlines mobile Website development that’s compatible with over 6,000 legacy and newer handsets.
To date, Trilibus has developed over 300 mobile sites mostly for enterprise companies. Ted Verani is a veteran in the mobile and wireless space. Over the past 13 years, he’s held leadership roles with established companies. As SVP of Sales and Marketing at Trilibis Mobile, Ted focuses on strategic account development, carrier relations and marketing.
He holds an MBA in Marketing from the Marshall School of Business at University of Southern California, and a BA in Economics and International Relations from the University of California, Davis. Without hesitation, Ted says that “everyone needs a mobile website.” But he also recommends that brands consider applications along with mobile websites. In some cases, having both improves marketing and promotion objectives.
Growth of Mobile Website Design in the Ecosystem
Ted and Trilibis, since its inception, have closely watched the growing influence of mobile. In the “early days”–the last 5-7 years–Brew and Java dominated most cell phones. The browsers were primitive and carriers controlled content on WAP sites.
Those were the days of short news, sports, weather and simple game software scrunched into small type on browsers. The dream of Java for app programmers–”write once, run anywhere”–never bore fruit. In fact, the same programming challenge faces mobile app developers today who can’t easily port from Apple iOS to the other major operating systems: Android, BlackBerry, Windows and Symbian.
As mobile phone functionality improved during the past decade, manufacturers created thousands of handsets running hundreds of browsers that challenged application programmers. The first signs of fragmentation (incompatible operating systems and software apps) began appearing toward the end of the decade, when Apple released its iPhone forever changing application development. Little did Apple know that fragmentation would become a bigger thorn in the side of developers.
Legacy Handset Support as Smartphone Penetration Increases
Trilibis has tackled one of the biggest challenges faced by mobile website designers. The company supports over 6,000 legacy handsets, phones that carriers and manufacturers stopped manufacturing and marketing years ago.
After testing, certifying and aggregating into its database, Trilibis offers development and hosting support to brands, who can either license the company’s technology or work in tandem with Trilibis’ own staff.
Using its SmartPath mobile publishing platform, the builder tool for touch and non-touch screen phones sits between content producers and end-users. This offers brands a way to support legacy phones as they’re rapidly replaced by more powerful mobile smartphones. Consumers with older handsets can then engage with brands as they gradually upgrade to more powerful devices.
Listen to the Podcast
Take a short trip through the last decade of cell phones, as Ted Verani and I discuss this dynamic industry and the growth of mobile website design.
Further Information about Trilibis and Ted Verani
Your new smartphone is already a dinosaur (6-8 month shelf life for smartphones)