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From mobile-first design to the digital experience

As companies try to create more tailored user experiences, they are creating more interactive, context-aware websites.

Companies have begun to turn to responsive design to make Web surfing more device-aware for users, but that's just the first step in creating digital experiences that understand users' location, preferences and behavior.

For many companies, the first step in this ambitious goal of personalization is to create websites that put mobile considerations first and that incorporate responsive design. With responsive, the content displayed adjusts based on a user's device.

But, as Geoff Bock a Web content management expert and SearchContentManagement contributor, notes, companies are ultimately trying to do more than just adjust a screen display based on a smartphone or phablet. Ultimately, they are trying to create more interactive experiences that enable users to receive notifications tailored to their preferences, location and other time-sensitive information.

By enlisting geolocation technology and understanding user navigation on webpages, companies can begin to develop more detailed pictures of who their users are, how to communicate with them, and how to tailor content and messages to their needs.

Ultimately, companies need to create personalized and efficient experiences that are user- and context-aware, Bock noted. That is a taller order for traditional Web content management systems and may require additional software, such as marketing automation and analytics technologies.

"We realize we want to do much more than simply publish things out," said Bock. "But if you're trying to focus on business tasks, then you need to begin to unpack what those experiences are. We've gotten pretty good at designing for full-screen websites. What we need to do now is begin to refactor mobile to create more task-centric apps. What are people doing when they are out in the world, interacting with the information? How can we build applications that surface just the right amount of information?"

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This was last published in March 2015

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Has your enterprise moved past a mobile-first mentality? If so, how?
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We have been responding to the current move in the industry by making our web surfing more appealing to mobile device users as part of creating preferential services to users of different locations and behavior. We're also creating more interactive experiences with tailor-made notifications and time-sensitive information. Location technology has assisted us in building this tailored content for different needs.
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IMO, Mobile apps as well as mobile compatible desktop (web browser based) applications are equally important. Both the types give enough ideas about how both of these can be evolved/updated/changed in order to compliment each other  and to maintain the consistency of user experience. 
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Very good post. Yes, there are things that lie beyond just adjusting screen-sizes and font sizes on different mobile devices but every device type comes with specific and variable set of use associated with it, that must be taken in account while 'thinking' for responsiveness. 
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I think that's the end goal, and some companies are already there, but in my experience most companies still have a LONG way to go.
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While good, responsive design can only go so far in providing the experience that mobile users are coming to expect. Location-based services will certainly play a key role in the quest for creating more interactive, context-aware websites and mobile applications. Mobile apps have a bit of an advantage in this area because they already have insight into the user’s preferences and, quite possibly, their time-sensitive information. Still, it’s not a far stretch for the mobile browser to have access to, and leverage, that same information on the mobile device.
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