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Message from allison-oslund@tamu.edu

I know many of you are neck-deep in plans for how your campus is going to “go mobile” with your websites and services.

 

While we are still in the infancy of implementing our strategy, we did publish a website this summer that provides a central resource of recommendations and best practices to help departments overcome the challenges of delivering a mobile-friendly online presence.

A key component of the strategy is responsive web design. Responsive websites automatically rearrange content based on the visitor's screen size. This allows one website to work for smartphones, tablets or desktops, so a separate mobile site or expensive mobile app is not needed. To see responsiveness in action, visit http://gomobile.tamu.edu and resize the web browser window to the size of a smartphone screen.

Please check out our GoMobile site and let me know what you think. We’d love the feedback!

Thanks,

Allison Oslund

Assistant Director Product Strategy & Communication

Texas A&M Information Technology

 

phone: 979-845-5093

allison-oslund@tamu.edu

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

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Hi Allison,

This is very nice!  Would you or your team be interested in talking in the next coffee shop or giving an online presentation for one of the regional conferences about how you were charged with this initiative and how you got other departments to follow along?  Did you have to offer them assistance in any way (actual coding, etc)?  How does RWD work for people already using content management systems (like me) - that means the code-writers running the CMS have to re-build each site to be mobile-friendly, right?

Thanks for ALL your contributions to our IT Comm world,

Carlyn Chatfield
Manager, IT Technical  Communications
Rice University
Houston, Texas 77005
713.348.4819

On 8/7/2012 5:00 PM, Allison Oslund wrote:

I know many of you are neck-deep in plans for how your campus is going to “go mobile” with your websites and services.

 

While we are still in the infancy of implementing our strategy, we did publish a website this summer that provides a central resource of recommendations and best practices to help departments overcome the challenges of delivering a mobile-friendly online presence.

A key component of the strategy is responsive web design. Responsive websites automatically rearrange content based on the visitor's screen size. This allows one website to work for smartphones, tablets or desktops, so a separate mobile site or expensive mobile app is not needed. To see responsiveness in action, visit http://gomobile.tamu.edu and resize the web browser window to the size of a smartphone screen.

Please check out our GoMobile site and let me know what you think. We’d love the feedback!

Thanks,

Allison Oslund

Assistant Director Product Strategy & Communication

Texas A&M Information Technology

 

phone: 979-845-5093

allison-oslund@tamu.edu

 

********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.


********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at http://www.educause.edu/groups/.

Allison,


I am interested in knowing the approach you all used to bring various campus departments together in order to develop a unified strategy/approach.


Thank you,

Lynn

 

Message from allison-oslund@tamu.edu

We would definitely be open to talking at a coffee shop. We’re kicking around the idea of submitting a proposal for Educause Southwest, so we’ll see what happens. J

 

Bringing in a lot of voices at the beginning was key in developing a strategy that would be quickly accepted across campus. We did a lot detective work to determine which IT shops on campus were already immersed in the mobile realm and asked them to join the team up front. This expertise and passion really helped us get our strategy in place quickly.

 

Our implementation is still in its infancy. We launched the GoMobile site in early July and the strategy team is now focused on soliciting support from high-level administrators on campus like the Provost and President. (We already have support from our CIO and the VP of Marketing.) We think support at this level is imperative if we’re going to have adoption of mobile technology campus-wide.

 

At this point, we’re breaking out into working groups focused on the technical side of mobile and outreach onto the campus. The outreach team has made several presentations to key stakeholder groups and has more in the works. They’re also in charge of posting tips and tricks to our mobile listserv and answering any questions that may come in from the campus.

 

One of the key recommendations for RWD was choosing a framework that already had a strong knowledge base of users across campus. Twitter Bootstrap was the preferred framework among team members and is currently our recommended framework. Our hope is that if campus members use this framework and run into problems, there will be a number of developers across campus who can offer assistance.

 

Twitter Bootstrap and RWD will work inside a CMS, but it’s definitely a learning curve. And yes, your developers will have to update their style sheets quite a bit. Ultimately it is best to redesign a site when possible using responsive techniques and a mobile mindset from the very beginning. I think that’s been the biggest takeaway for me and my team. We truly have to think “mobile first” in all our website planning and design. We have to realize that the majority of users are viewing our websites on a phone and not a desktop – and that needs to be where we START the design process.

 

Got to love how technology always keeps us on our toes!

 

Allison

 

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