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Web content management strategy must adapt for mobile

Mobile devices have changed Web content management strategy to better reflect consumer expectations.

Mobile is a key component of Web content management strategy, but it's also important to understand how smaller...

screen sizes and remote Web access are changing user expectations. How is WCM strategy adapting to accommodate mobile?

From one perspective, mobile devices do little to change your WCM strategy. After all, WCM focuses on publishing processes, allowing line-of-business staffers such as marketers, editors and other creative folk to create and manage content without IT support.

That said, Web publishers do need to accommodate a wider variety of screen sizes. Traditionally WCM systems include sets of templates for presenting content on full-screen browsers, which primarily access the Web through Wi-Fi networks. Mobile devices have smaller and more varied screen sizes and, at a minimum, that requires different presentation capabilities. Responsive design is a popular approach for multichannel, because it can detect the viewer's screen size and adjust according, ensuring that the same content looks good and is easily browsed on smartphones, tablets and full-screen Web browsers.

From another perspective, mobile devices add a new dimension of contextual management to WCM strategy. Content needs to be short, pithy and very granular. Content should be published in ways that help mobile users solve specific work-related tasks, untethered from fixed locations.

Moreover, mobile devices can capture a wide range of device-specific information -- such as location, camera images, and various kinds of sensor data. This contextual information also needs to be incorporated into your WCM strategy to deliver task-oriented, personalized experiences.

Next Steps

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This was last published in July 2015

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Has mobile become part of your Web content management strategy? Why or why not?
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As a testing specialist I observe a range of requests from my clients. Whenever mobile app is considered a "poor relative" of the main app the interest to test and fix bugs is low. Sometimes it's rationalized that people always have a workaround - to use the Web version.
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Obviously you need to test against the customer requirements and functional specs. As you describe, in many cases the web version is sufficient so there's no need to offer a miniaturized version of the same app. The harder part is to consider the mobile experience and what mobile users want/expect.
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We have focused on providing the key features for our customers in our mobile app rather than replicate the entire web application. Much of what we do with the mobile app is use the notification options so that individuals can make quick updates or reference discussions so that they can get to the web app and do additional work or updates. Time will tell if an all in one resonates with our customers.
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Web content must also be made accessible. Diversity and digital inclusion became social priorities. On top of the implied social contract we have explicit legal contracts, such as Section 508 in the US and Canadian Provincial Legislations (AODA in Ontario, Quebec Standards for Accessibility, and others), which define accessibility standards for government and public sector software.
This sets a trending example for the overall market.
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Absolutely! Certainly accessibility is important. But meeting this requirement depends more on the device and the environment than on WCM.

For instance web browsers, mobile apps, and mobile operating systems include different capabilities for managing font sizes--important for meeting the needs of the visually impaired. There are also text-to-speech apps for other work situations. The list goes on.

Developers and solution providers can do a lot to make content accessible, once it is digitized. With digital content, we can solve accessibility problems one step at a time.
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