By 2013, there will be more mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) accessing the Internet than traditional desktops and laptops. This is both a threat, and an opportunity for your continuing education organization.
There are two ways you can get your presence felt on mobile devices. The first is to simply provide a formatted version of your site which is “mobile friendly”. The second is to create a specialized mobile “native application”.
A “mobile friendly” site is one which automatically detects the incoming device, and provides the visitor with a version of the site which is optimized for use on a mobile device.
In contrast, a “native application” is a software program which is designed to run on a particular mobile operation system and is downloaded to the device. While there are some online tools which can help you build a simple version of one of these applications relatively inexpensively, to build anything with complexity, you will likely require the assistance and involvement of a programmer.
A mobile friendly or mobile optimized version of your site is often a better choice than an application, because many of your visitors will be accessing your site through a mobile browser.
When you are designing your mobile site, you should target it to display nicely for the two most popular mobile screen formations – the iPhone* and the iPad. If you site works well on these devices, it generally should display well on most of the others.
You should have a menu that is very easy to navigate and that allows a user to easily select their area of interest. Links should be large, separated and easy to press - remember it’s easy to accidently hit the wrong link if they are small or two close together and people will be using their thumb or a finger to press the link.
You should have as little content as possible on your mobile site. Reduce your content. Then, reduce it again. Keep it to the key facts/features which are needed to have your visitor take action
Finally, be sure to test your website and see how it appears to mobile users – ideally on a variety of platforms.
Want to learn more about mobile marketing? Check out LERN's Advanced Social Media and Mobile Marketing Institute this June in Cleveland.