Preparing for Mobile

The session was facilitated by Ben Showers, a JISC Programme Manager and focussed on how HE institutions can prepare for mobile.

The following are my personal notes from the group discussions;

  • Mobile – the term mobile is now becoming somewhat an outdated term as many people have vey differing views of what mobile means.  Where do we stop calling a device mobile?  Is an iPad mobile as it has higher resolution than many desktops and can display full webpages often without compromise?  What about an Xbox or an internet enabled TV?
  • Is it the correct approach for institutions to cherry pick content for mobile devices?  How do we know what content users want to consume?  Research shows that users want to consume all content on a mobile device but with some attention taken to formatting for the device
  • Many felt that any mobile version of an institutional site should have the potential of surfacing the same content as the main site
  • Search based content surfacing was discussed
  • The ideal approach seems to be to write all web content with the view that it will be consumed by an API and as such be properly structured.  It was accepted that for most this was not possible at the moment
  • Mobile devices will always be changing, so the ability to build mobile apps/sites which access and format data via an API is the best strategy
  • Institutions might want to use the demand for mobile sites as a driver to implement improved content authoring policies
  • What about students with black and white e-readers…?
  • User bandwidth costs should be considered when serving up images and video via mobile
  • The big take away message was that whilst the ideal strategy is to author your content to be device agnostic, it’s not likely to be possible for most institutions in the short term
  • PhoneGap (HTML5 app platform that allows you to author native applications with web technologies and get access to APIs and app stores) has a Dreamweaver plugin


JISC Mobile Report:

PhoneGap Dreamweaver Plugin:


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