Tag Archives: mobile web

When you’re amazing it shows. Ode to a professional gangsta.

You're packin' a mean piece o' steel, Mister.

You’re packin’ a mean piece o’ steel, Mister.

I know when you read the title of this post, you thought, “Oh here he goes again!”

And on a normal day you’d be right.

I would absolutely be talking about me.

Heaping mounds upon mounds of praise on myself, crowing about how great I am at everything I do, and how the world hangs on my every word.

But today, not so much.

You see, today I’m going to heap praise on someone whom I consider a professional gangsta.

Who, I might add, bullied me into even writing this post.

Listen to me when I talk, y’all.

G.A.N.G.S.T.A.

Her name is Dianne Ramlochan.

And she’s not to be trifled with.

In the almost two years that I’ve known her, she has impressed me as one singularly bent on getting her way.

It’s her way or the highway.

Perhaps it’s the only child thing.

Who knows.

But whatever Dianne wants, Dianne gets.

Case in point, I don’t usually “friend” co-workers and professional colleagues on Facebook.

I like to keep my virtual personal world separated from my real professional one. Ya’ dig?

We can be LinkedIn, and you may get a trickle of the virtual real me from the incomprehensibly-difficult-to-disconnect Facebook/LinkedIn nexus.

Can someone pleeeeaaassssseee tell me how to decouple this bullshit?

But by and large, you’re not peepin’ my personal shit online unless you’re digging.

Somehow, though, Ms. Ramlochan managed to Jedi mind trick me into waiving that work-professional life separation.

Don’t you know I friended this heifer?

And she’s following me on Twitter.

She famously quips about how if ever she can’t reach me at my desk via landline, email, mobile phone or text, she’ll “tweet” me.

Tweet me?

How are you going to be tweeting your project manager?

Have you ever heard of anything so ludicrous?

But that’s this chick.

To her credit, when I met her, she had just been hired to the team of one of the illest executive dudes I’ve come across to date.

No nonsense Anthony McLoughlin.

This dude was like Miles Finch from Elf – except a lil’ taller.

Point was, you didn’t eff with Anthony.

If you did, it was your ass.

And D worked for this dude.

Trial by fire is all I can say.

But then Anthony left for the West Coast, and Ms. Ramlochan inherited his fiefdom of projects, vendors and responsibilities.

And turned us all into her vassals.

20140228-172129.jpg

What it felt like to work for Dianne.

Overnight, we went from watching Dianne do all Anthony’s dirty work, to having to do Dianne’s dirty work.

I still get cold chills thinking about the day Dianne took over…

Homegirl is relentless.

RELENTLESS.

She had one word you never wanted to see come across your email.

“Unacceptable.”

That’s all she’d say.

Unacceptable this.

Unacceptable that.

Unacceptable the other.

Unacceptable, and cats would gets to steppin’!

Chills.

But we worked it out.

And in the process, she pushed through a few apps, next gen mobile web, iPad kiosk update, a couple of mobile web and app-specific pilots, and a tablet web project.

She had help, of course (=your’s truly), but it all went down under her watchful eye.

And now, she’s leaving the nest – where she truly learned to abuse fly – to new shores.

Those of Saks Fifth Avenue – heaven protect you (said in a whisper).

To leave a wake of psychologically traumatized victims forge new trails.

Anywho, on the last day of our professional lives together, I bid her adieu in the best way I know how.

Memorialized in my blog.

There, D. I’ve made you famous.

PS Congratulations on your new job!

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Filed under branding, digital advocacy, technology, work

Why tablet web? Why not? 6 reasons why tablet web is right for your brand.

I’m frequently asked why a brand that is currently seeing their tablet users converting at high rates on a non-tablet optimized website, should invest in optimizing their site for tablets.

If it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Right?

Wrong!

As many online retailers are starting to see the ranks of tablet customers swell in their online user base, this conversation of tablet web optimization begins to take on added significance.

An Adobe Digital Index Report issued last year reinforced the fact that tablets are providing online retailers new opportunities to engage customers in shopping experiences that are extending engagement, conversion, loyalty and retention.

As the WWDC keynote yesterday pointed out, many brands are seeing higher rates of conversion on tablets than on PCs.

As such, tablets are becoming an increasingly important component of the e-commerce toolkit for brands and businesses.

My response to the “why” question is usually long-winded and rambling.

Me? Long winded and rambling? Nooooo.

So I’ve decided to collect my thoughts and offer them here.

6 Reasons You Need a Tablet Optimized Site:

It was originally going to be 10 Reasons, but I started to lose steam after 5.

form and funciton

1. Form and function. The truth of the matter is that desktop sites were not designed for tablet use. The navigation for a desktop site and that of a tablet are different. The desktop relies on a mouse for point and click, while a tablet relies on a finger or stylus. While a user can select items using their finger on a desktop site from a tablet, it’s not as fluid and is more often than not frustrating. This frustration (of users attempting to select items on your site that are too small or poorly spaced) can be avoided entirely if your site is optimized for use on a tablet.

touch the screen

2. Tablets are for touching. One of the primary benefits of a tablet experience is the ability to touch the screen to access and manipulate content. A desktop site accessed from a tablet loses much of the ability to engage a visitor with tactile interaction. A tablet web site that incorporates standard gesturing into the user’s experience can enhance the overall interactivity of that experience and enables a user to easily access content elements. A site which a user cannot swipe through to see additional items, easily access menus, pinch, zoom, rotate or otherwise manipulate the screen (the way they can with native applications) significantly detracts from the inherent fluidity of tablet navigation.

No-Clutter

3. Reduce clutter. The desktop site contains multiple levels of content designed for consumption on a PC. The best tablet web sites are designed in such a way as to remove clutter and reduce distractions. Each screen focuses on a core user task or piece of content, leaving a simplified experience for the user. Menus are tucked away or vanish when not being used, banners and ads cede to the more functional elements of the user experience.

kiss

4. KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). Well designed tablet optimized sites provide utility with simplicity. Navigation is clean and intuitive with navigation elements that are easy to find. Simple design tends to enhance, rather than distract from, the user experience. By making it easy to move about your site, reducing the number of steps required to access desired content (without having to rely on clunky and distracting breadcrumbs or other extraneous navigation elements) you’re enhancing the user’s ability to interact with your brand and convert.

less is more

5. Less is more. Most websites are extremely complex jam-packed with content. This complexity rarely translates well into a mobile or tablet environment. In contrast mobile sites are built with simplicity in mind. There are fewer options, with only the core elements available to the user. Tablet websites should adopt the simple form of mobile, while simultaneously taking advantage of the larger form factor available to present content.

No White Space

6. Reduce white space. On a tablet, space is at a premium. Unlike the desktop, where users are used to seeing empty spaces, tablets are designed with as little empty space as possible. Since the majority of what tablet owners do with their devices is shop, eliminating white space and utilizing that space for some functional feature or page element (larger PDPs, compelling CTAs, or special offers) is key.

Ultimately, whether you make the leap to tablet optimized web goes to how you value your customers.

While they can use your desktop site from their tablets, they shouldn’t have to.

More importantly, you shouldn’t want them to.

You should want your users’ experience with your online properties to be optimized for the device they are consuming them from.

To be clear, in my opinion a native tablet app provides the best user experience, but if you’re testing the waters, then a tablet optimized web experience is the way to go.

In this age of tablets and mobile technology, optimization should be every brand’s highest priority.

If it’s not your’s, you’ve got to ask yourself, “why not?”

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Filed under advocacy, digital advocacy, tablet web

Home Shopping Apps. HSN’s got the goods. Literally.

Home shopping on steroids!

I’m not an avid shopper.

Every once in a while, I’ll hit the store to pick up an item or two.

Most of my shopping is done online, and in response to a real need.

Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, etc., are when my shopping cap goes on, and I generally handle my business.

So shopping (outside of essentials) is never high on my list of priorities.

But that’s just me.

There’s a whole other world of shoppers, who take shopping very seriously: the home shopper.

If you’re into home shopping, then anytime is a good time to shop.

If there’s a bargain, you’re looking for it.

While shopping used to require getting into the car and heading to a mall, strip mall, flea market, or consignment store, the home shopper now has a number of different outlets for getting their shopping on (and I’m not talking catalogues either).

QVC, HSN and ShopNBC are probably some of the most well known brands in home shopping.

They’ve each got channels devoted entirely to giving shoppers steep discounts on everything from watches to sewing machines.

They also have websites, which allow visitors to browse items featured on the network, as well as other special offers.

But more importantly, each of them has a branded app, which allows you to shop directly from your iPhone, iPad or Android device, while you’re away from your television or home computer.

ShopNBC does the best job of promoting the fact that they’ve got apps.

ShopNBC does the best job of letting you know they've got apps.

The link to the iOS or Android version of their app is conspicuously located in the bottom left corner of the home page, alongside ShopNBC’s other social media links.

Although you’ve got to scroll to the bottom of the page to see this section, the iPhone and Android logos point to the fact that they’ve got apps.

And while they don’t promote the fact that they’ve got a mobile version of their site too, they do.

HSN’s apps are promoted in a similar fashion as ShopNBC, but not quite as well.

Although it's not explicit, HSN lets you know they've got something for mobile.

The mobile phone logo, appears in a banner below the fold of the page, under the title “HSN Everywhere”.

But where HSN falls short in the visual promotion, it more than makes up for it with the breadth and depth of it’s mobile app offering.

HSN has apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Nokia, Windows Mobile 7 and offers a mobile web version of their site and an SMS service.

QVC does the worst job of promoting the fact that it’s got a mobile offering.

C'mon QVC! You've got to do better than this! Site map, really?

The link to their mobile app is buried in the site map, located at the bottom of the home page, with no icons and even less fanfare.

QVC only offers an iPhone version of their app, and they don’t have a mobile site at all.

I took each of the apps for a test drive to see how well they were built.

I didn’t buy anything mind you, but I did check out what they had to offer.

As expected, each of the apps let you to make in-app purchases.

They also have a ‘watch now’ or ‘live’ feature that lets you to follow along with the network programming directly from your device.

There is a short time delay between the live show and the mobile version, but it’s not material.

But there are material differences in how the live viewing options work on the respective apps.

HSN does the best job for a few reasons, including the fact that it utilizes the accelerometer of the iOS devices, allowing you to watch in both landscape and portrait modes.

HSN's app is the hands down fave!

The menus and content streams, that frame the viewing area, adjust, letting you expand or collapse the screen to watch in full screen/partial screen mode.

While HSN gives you multiple viewing options, ShopNBC’s live viewing is only viewable in full screen landscape mode.

And unlike the HSN app, you’ve got to quit the video, in order to interact with any other content on their app.

QVC’s iPhone app works similarly to HSN’s and is viewable in both landscape or portrait mode.

In landscape mode, the dash slides away letting you watch full screen.

Sorry QVC, but watching TV on the iPhone simply isn't the move. Make an iPad app!

But after experiencing HSN and ShopNBC’s apps in the larger form factor of the iPad, watching QVC’s show on the iPhone was markedly underwhelming.

Each of these apps had their pluses. But hands down, HSN is clearly the most progressive and forward thinking of these home shopping networks.

They have the most comprehensive suite of options for accessing their brand.

Notwithstanding my critiques, each of these brands are clearly thinking about how to help shoppers get the most out of their connected devices.

And at the end of the day, if you’re a ‘shoppy’, you should be over the moon!

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Filed under apps, branding, iPad, iPhone, mobile, opinion, technology