Seventeenth – how to go mobile?

Today’s assignment asks, how to determine whether a new site in the building needs or needs not to be mobile-friendly. Whether one should build a custom app or make the page scalable or have separate mobile and non-mobile CSS style sheets?

Today’s questions link the readings from before Spring Brake and those that were assigned for today. The readings before the Brake suggested that from the programmer’s point of view, IPhone Apps are unjustifiably more spread than websites designed to work on IPhones and computer screens equally. The flexibility of CSS design allows the programmer almost equal freedom on the small and the big screen (not in the traditional, but the electronic media-sense.) However, we all know that the programmer’s perspective is not the only one to be considered in this business. And as to many other aspects of our lives, business is a key word in the world of Apps. To design an App also means to enter the market of Apps. Revenue after Apps is much easier acquirable, since to buy an App is a much smoother action than providing credit card data on a web site. Thus clients will more naturally incline toward buying Apps, let it be subscriptions for a paper or a game.

This brings us to today’s readings: Jeff Korhan’s “How QR codes can grow your business,” in Social Media Examiner and Kristina Shands’sA case against QR codes,” in Authentic Communications. The assignment today does not imply that costumer involvement needs to be considered in the design process of the new site. So I interpret, the questions to be asked, should be addressed to myself, the imagined designer and programmer. Two basic questions come to mind: who is my targeted audience, are they a mobile device user community? And what is the site trying to accomplish? Am I to sell or buy something? To mobilize civic action, or to organize a gallery auction? Create a group of travelers or find a tutor of Swahili? And here the question of the QR code quicks in. One article argues in favor QR, while it also draws attention to its misuses. The other argues against its misuse. At the core of the QR usage stands the question of its usage through a mobile device assuming that it is always at hand, unlike a computer, a larger tablet, or else. How can a QR be used in a mobile device so that it allows to do something that without it would be slower, harder, or more expensive.

Going back to the assignment, and in connection to what Korhan argued about the ways to include the QR in the design of the whole page, using separate CSS style sheets for different platforms in order to present the same content or to connect different contents seems to be the most creative way to keep the different appearances of the site in synchrony. A change in the content can be communicated separately, as well as the differences of the communicated contents on the different platforms. In my new site, considering the number of children equipped with an Iphone and Kindle, I will use separate CSS designs for mobile platforms.

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