Those of you who have liked my Facebook page or follow my Twitter account, have probably already seen the mobile web design I did for Windsor Squash and Fitness. The reason it took me so long for me to write a blog post about it, is because I wanted to get a bit of data on how it was performing.
As you can see, it’s a very clean design, which matches the color and link scheme of the main website. You can view the full version of the site online by visiting http://mobile.windsorsquash.ca or going to windsorsquash.ca on your iPhone, Android, Blackberry or basically any mobile device.
I added a PHP code to the top of the main Windsor Squash site, which reads which type of browser the visitor is using. If it reads a mobile web browser of any sort, it redirects the user to the mobile version of the site. The web design itself was created using an HTML DIV based design as well as plenty of clean coded CSS.
So far, the site is proving to be very worthwhile for the great people at Windsor Squash and Fitness. Since the mobile version was launched, they’ve seen an increase in mobile traffic as well as a decrease in the bounce rate on the mobile version. For those of you unfamiliar with bounce rate, “it represents the percentage of initial visitors to a site who “bounce” away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.” Basically, it means more people are staying on the mobile version of the site now that it is optimized for mobile viewing.
I encourage all my clients to create a mobile version of their site. Many of the websites online are not optimized for mobile devices and this could easily mean loss of traffic and more importantly, loss of sales. Mobile users want quick and easy access to a website without having to “pinch”, “pull” or “zoom” in and out. If you’re interested in having a mobile version of your site designed, please get in touch.
Again, I’d like to thank Brian and everyone at Windsor Squash and Fitness for giving me the opportunity to work with them on their mobile web design. I look forward to continuing work with them on their online marketing in the future!
The past week there has been story after story in the Globe and Mail of the struggles of Blackberry creator Research In Motion (RIM). Last week was one of the hardest weeks the company has had in years missing revenue expectations and slashing future forecasts. The stock price tumbled over 20% last week in just a couple of days. Today this story broke about RIM handing layoff papers to over 200 employees at their home headquarters in Waterloo Ontario.
Things are not looking good for Blackberry and being a Blackberry owner myself, I’m a bit concerned for their future. Here are 5 reasons why RIM is in trouble;
1) Consumer Confidence – Most of the news people have been hearing about RIM lately has been negative. Whether it’s falling stock prices, layoffs or poor products, it seems the company that once couldn’t do a single thing wrong is now doing everything wrong. Once the average consumer gives up on Blackberry and moves to some sort of Android or iPhone, chances are they aren’t coming back.
2) Playbook “Failure” – There have been reports that sales of the new Blackberry Playbook tablet have been good, but not great. I’m hearing quite a different story from friends who work at stores who sell the Playbook tablet. One of my friends who works at a large department store said they were shipped 25 Playbook’s on launch date and still haven’t sold a single one. Another friend from an electronics store tells me he is making sales, but not nearly as many as the iPad 2 or other tablet PC’s. It seems to me Blackberry is giving info on their shipping numbers, not actual sales.
3) Lower Stock Price – The lower the stock price goes, the more people hear about it and the more the big companies who hold RIM stock are pulling out. The stock price hasn’t been this low since August of 2006 and it’s only projected to go lower until RIM can show some type of turn around.
4) Length Of Time Between New Products – Everyone in the tech world has been hearing about Blackberry’s new operating system for over a year now and we STILL don’t have a new Blackberry that uses it. Reports are that Blackberry’s carrying the new OS may not be available until early 2012 even though they’re releasing a new Blackberry Bold later this year!
5 ) iMessage – This one may seem a bit funny, but yes the new Apple messaging system “iMessage”, which is due out later this year, could leave many Blackberry users jumping ship. Just a quick search through Twitter on the day iMessage was announced I could find user after user saying something to the effect of “Well, now that there’s iMessage, I don’t need my Blackberry anymore.” If Blackberry’s haven’t lost their “cool” factor with the 18-34 crowd yet, they will soon enough and once that goes they may never get it back.
I don’t plan on getting rid of my Blackberry anytime soon. As a matter of fact, I was considering dropping my Curve and moving to the Torch however, all this bad press really has me thinking twice. If RIM doesn’t blow people away with their next line of smart phones, we could see RIM join Palm and many others in the smart phone cemetery.
Those of you who follow me on Twitter or are a fan of my Windsor Web Design Facebook page, know that I’ve been working on a mobile web design for Windsor Squash and Fitness. This also means you know that I’ve a big believer in having your website optimized for mobile devices such as the; iPhone, Blackberry and Android. If you don’t have a mobile version of your site online, you could be missing out on all the mobile traffic your site is getting!
Take a look at your Google Analytics or whichever stats program you’re using for your website and find how many mobile devices have visited your site in the past month. If you don’t have a mobile version for your website, chances are you lost on most of that traffic. People on mobile devices want to be able to get into your site, get quick information on your business and get out without having to pinch, pull or zoom anywhere. I took a look at the mobile traffic for Windsor Squash and Fitness over the past month and of the 57 unique visits they had from mobile devices only 2% stayed on the site longer than 5 seconds. Let me repeat that 5 seconds! Why did this happen? It’s simple, the full version of the web design I created, didn’t render properly on mobile devices. That’s why they’ve decided to have me create an all new, mobile only version of their site! Over the past week, I’ve done a few tests using the mobile only version and of the 17 people who have visited the site 82% stayed longer than 5 seconds and 71% stayed longer than 15. Great improvement from the non-mobile version.
If you’re interested in having a mobile web design created for your small business in Windsor or anywhere in Southwestern Ontario, please contact me. Even if I didn’t create the full version of your website, I can easily create a mobile version that is branded in the same way and uses all of the same colors and fonts. The mobile designs I’ve done so far have been done in under 2 weeks and have been done at very affordable rates!
I know not everyone has a Blackberry and you guys/girls reading this blog probably think that since I have one, that’s all I’ll ever post about in the smart phone category. Well, good news! I also have an iPod touch so I can review most iPhone apps just as easily. I figured for today’s post though, I’ll start with what I know best; my Blackberry apps and tech news.
I’m sure if you’re as interested in tech news as I am, you always want the latest updates as they happen. Well lucky for us, the Blackberry App World has tonnes of great news apps which have technology sections as well apps from technology sites!
The 3 apps that I check almost 2 or 3 times a day (if I’m away from my PC or laptop) are;
1) Globe and Mail – This app comes from the Globe and Mail newspaper here in Canada. I enjoy reading it because it gives great insight on what’s happening in the technology world in Canada. For example, I wouldn’t be able to find anything on the CRTC decision to increase bandwidth costs here in Canada on any other non-Canadian apps.
2) CNet – I really enjoy they’re reviews on new products as well as their constant updates on what’s happening in the social media, search engine and tech realm.
3) NY Times – This was one of the first Blackberry apps that I downloaded, mostly because at the time they’re wasn’t anything nearly as functional in the App World. Now that there are a lot more tech news apps, I find myself visiting it less however, I do find that they have exceptional writers in their tech department.
So those are my top 3. Anyone have any other suggests on some great tech news apps that I should download from Blackberry App World?
Many of you have probably visited some of your favorite web sites on your iPhone or Blackberry only to find it looks different than the site you’re used to seeing on your PC or laptop. That’s because the site you’re visiting has a simpler version created just for mobile devices. I myself created a mobile web design for my portfolio site, feel free to check it out on your phone or even on your computer by going to Sebastian Agosta | Mobile Version.
The reason more and more companies and individuals are creating mobile web sites is because more and more people are using their mobile devices to browse the web. This article on mashable shows how some analysts think people will surf the web on their phone more than on their desktop by 2015. It’d be silly for to create a web design for your company and not have a mobile site setup.
If you do want to get a mobile version done for your site and it’s not being designed or developed by me, I want you to keep a few things in mind.
1) Be sure to create it so that there isn’t too much scrolling. I wouldn’t make my design much longer than what would fit on your basic iPhone or Android device.
2) Make the links large enough that someone doesn’t have to zoom in to click it. As you can see on my mobile site the links are the entire width of the page.
3) Condense your mobile site to show only what’s absolutely necessary. I find that some people who do mobile web design forget that people are surfing on their phones and probably aren’t going to spend hours searching through the 100 pages you have. Keep it sweet and simple. My mobile version only has 5 pages.
There are a few other things I would suggest, but those are the main 3. If you’re curious about what else I would add or remove from a mobile web design feel free to contact me. I’d be happy to give you a free consultation.
Anyone else have opinions on mobile design? Comment below!