My post about mobile website myths last September drew some comments from some of the best staffing website designers out there including David Searns of Haley Marketing and Jason Lander of Staffing Robot. David pointed to an infographic his firm did on how mobile is changing staffing, and Jason showed off a mobile recruiting app he did for a client.
Business people – the suits – are taking an equal interest in mobile now that embryonic app companies like Snapchat have fetched and turned down billions in investment from grotesquely high-valued companies like Facebook.
Nevertheless, mobile technology can hardly be said to have reached puberty. The chart above (courtesy Jason Brigsby with a hat tip to ShawnW on Pluralsight) shows that most mobile sites – sites which should be smaller than their desktop counterparts – are actually larger on average and often much larger. That makes them slow and unpleasant to use and led many people, including me, to emphasize installed mobile apps over their browser counterparts.
If I haven’t confused you yet with this discussion, just give me a chance because everything is changing again. Most notably, mobile first development platforms are maturing so rapidly that not only do they make mobile fast, they make the desktop experience better too.
We’ve reviewed a lot of them at TempWorks, and we’ve latched onto Bootstrap 3.0 for some apps we're about to push out into beta. 3.0 gives a mobile-friendly, lighter, faster, cleaner, next-generation version of the popular Twitter Bootstrap framework, and it’s gotten a lot better especially with the release of stability update 3.03 last week. If the programming details don’t get you to check out that link, go there just to see the MC Young Bust a Move video (Totes my goats! They went cray cray).
Graceful Degradation vs. Progressive Enhancement
Most existing ‘mobile’ frameworks, including previous versions of Bootstrap, relied on graceful degradation, a process in which you designed first for the desktop and gradually added additional code that both slowed down the site and took away features like large graphics that don’t show or work so well in mobile.
In contrast, new frameworks rely on progressive enhancement. You design first for a great mobile experience, and you add code to make the experience richer as you move to higher resolutions like tablets and then desktops.
We’re still very early on when it comes to what mobile can do. Forget adolescence, we’re not even in grade school yet.