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Web Development Changing in Response to Mobile


Technologies

Conducted by: Jacob Pharo


University of Wisconsin Stout
Spring 2014
ICT-575 Web Production and Distribution

Pharo, Jacob N. Web Development Changing in Response to Mobile Technologies

Abstract
This paper explains why companies are moving to increase their efforts with mobile support.
Through that knowledge, research was conducted to create an understanding of how web
development has changed because of mobile technologies. Techniques are explored as to how the
current adaptations are being used.

Table of Contents
Abstract............................................................................................................................................2
Chapter I: Introduction....................................................................................................................4
Purpose of the Study..................................................................................................................4
Limitations of the Study............................................................................................................4
Methodology...............................................................................................................................4
Chapter II: Literature Review..........................................................................................................5
Chapter III: Results..........................................................................................................................7
References........................................................................................................................................8

Chapter I: Introduction
The world of technology is constantly advancing, therefore the tools and styles that are
used in coordination with the technology are also rapidly changing. In recent, a large emerging
trend is mobile technologies. Mobile technologies boomed because they offer many benefits to a
business such as, constant connection, creation of documents, collaboration capabilities,
customer and business analytical tools, and process improvement (Chan, 2013).
Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study is to gain knowledge of how, and why, web development has
changed in regards of mobile technologies. This knowledge will then be incorporated into
practical application by incorporating a portion of a webpage that was developed by the author,
to be suited for mobile viewing.
Limitations of the Study
This study is done by a graduate student who is in his first semester of web development.
The majority of knowledge about this subject has been gained through communication with
peers, and external research.
Methodology
The paper is structured in such a way that it will describe how mobile has impacted
businesses with webpages, then it will begin to discuss the reasoning behind the impacts. Once
there is a firm basis for why the changes were necessary, information for how it is done is
presented.

Chapter II: Literature Review


Why is it that companies are expanding into mobile support? As described by Connie
Guglielmo from Forbes, "Demand for mobile computing, cloud services, big data and analytics
and social networking will help drive a 5 percent jump in worldwide spending on information
technology in 2014 to $2.1 trillion" (Guglielmo, 2013). Businesses want to keep up with their
competition, and take their piece of the pie. They understand that mobile use is something that
their customers want to have, and by having it available to them they receive many benefits. The
Icreon Blog mentions, " With over a billion users, online social networks are the new go-to
places for advice on what to buy, where to buy and even where to work. While most industries
use social media for connecting with customers, many have now invested in using social media
for sales and marketing" (Icreon, 2014). What exactly should businesses prepare to have in the
future that the customers will want? Sara Angeles from Business News Daily describes that when
she created an article talking about the listing that various high ranking members of Alibaba
predicted for changes within mobile an ecommerce. These includes, a more affordable mobile
solution, fast, simple, and safe check out options, use of mobile wallets increasing, and an
increase of cross-border e-commerce (Angeles, 2013).
Mobile technologies are the devices that users are capable of accessing the web from
using cellular communication. While this has changed due to extended Wi-Fi capabilities, it does
not strictly need to be done using a cellular connection, the device is still capable of being easily
moved from location to location without additional wires being needed. These devices are
smaller in size with different screen resolutions. This has caused many companies to develop
websites specifically for mobile users. When the users would load the page, the server would
recognize the mobile need, and redirect them to a page specialized for mobile users. This is a

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slowly changing concept as it is now more appropriate to have one website that is capable of
being used by all (Changing Trends of Web Design and Development for Mobile Devices, 2013).
This means that the site uses a responsive design. As described by HyperArts, " Responsive
design makes decisions based on the needs of the content" (Kizler, 2013). To do this, design for
the smallest viewable screen size is made first. Shaun Anderson describes an important concept,
" it is of critical importance for you to identify YOUR audience and the devices they use, and
build your website (on the whole) to suit THAT audience " (Anderson, 2014).
Having a webpage optimized for mobile viewing doesn't simply mean just having it load
on a smaller sized screen. The webpage itself needs to be created to be mobile friendly. A mobile
user doesn't have the option of simply moving their cursor over an object and have that open up a
new listing; mobile users tap their screen. This means that different styles of actions need to be
programmed for mobile use. When mobile users tap their screen, there is a larger space being
pressed. There is less precision available in comparison to using a mouse and a cursor. During
the design phase of a webpage, this needs to be kept in mind. A similar feel should be present
between a mobile site, and a standard site, but it also needs to be legible and easily read on both.
Another important aspect to keep in mind, is how long does it take for the webpage to load.
Cellular service is not always comparable to the connections possible through a desktop
computer (Guadiana, 2013).
Mobile technology is also being made available to many nations that are lacking the
infrastructure for standard desktops. Having the opportunity for the citizens of these nations has
provided many benefits. The education levels have improved, appropriate surveys are able to be
conducted, agriculture knowledge is spread, access to banks is now possible, through data
analysis human trafficking can be more actively identified and monitored, and various health

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knowledge is now capable of being shared (Tsao, 2013). This means that these countries are
improving their citizens well-being and as time go on, may become customers for businesses.

Chapter III: Results


It is important that research is done in order to understand the audience that you are
gearing your webpage for in order to understand their needs. As described by Mozilla,
"Mobile devices have quite different hardware characteristics compared with desktop or
laptop computers. Their screens are usually smaller, obviously, but they also usually
automatically switch the screen orientation between portrait and landscape mode as the
user rotates the device. They usually have touch screens for user input. APIs like
geolocation or orientation are either not supported on desktops or are much less useful,
and these APIs give mobile users new ways to interact with your site" (Mobile Web
Development).
Mobile users have different needs than standard desktop users. This means that the webpage is to
be designed to look, and function differently than in the past. There is still a requirement that a
webpage is functional on multiple browsers, because mobile users still have access to different
browsers.
When you are using a responsive design for creating your webpage, you use the viewport
meta tag to tell the browser how to display the site for that specific device. (Mobile Web
Development). The viewport meta tag sets up specific variables, such as the width, initial-scale,
maximum-scale, and user-scalable. These impact the ability to zoom, and how much the users
are capable of zooming if at all. Media queries can also be used within CSS rules to find the
appropriate screen width and height. The images displayed need to be optimized to a certain size,
but be capable of being made larger when tapped by a user. This can be done with dynamic
image scaling such as using the max-width variable (Rocheleau).

References
Anderson, S. (2014, 4 2). Best Screen Resolution to Design Websites . Retrieved from Hobo
Internet Marketing: http://www.hobo-web.co.uk/best-screen-size/
Angeles, S. (2013, 12 27). 6 Ways Retail Will Change in 2014. Retrieved 4 22, 2014, from
Business News Daily: http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/5687-retail-predictions.html
Chan, M. (2013, 8 12). How Mobile is Changing the Enterprise. Retrieved 4 22, 2014, from
ThornTech: http://www.thorntech.com/2013/08/how-mobile-is-changing-the-enterprise/
Changing Trends of Web Design and Development for Mobile Devices. (2013, 6 26). Retrieved 4
22, 2014, from instantShift: http://www.instantshift.com/2013/07/26/changing-trends-ofweb-design-and-development-for-mobile-devices/
Guadiana, J. (2013, 8 1). How Mobile Devices are Changing the way your Website Works.
Retrieved 4 22, 2014, from All Web Promotion: http://blog.allwebpromotion.com/howmobile-devices-are-changing-way-website-works/
Guglielmo, C. (2013, 12 3). IDC Predicts Boom Times In 2014 For Cloud Services, Social,
Mobile, Big Data, Bust For PCs. Retrieved from Forbes:
http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2013/12/03/idc-predicts-boom-times-in2014-for-cloud-services-social-mobile-big-data-bust-for-pcs/
Icreon, B. (2014, 3 3). Why Social, Mobile and Cloud Technology Is Changing Web
Development. Retrieved 4 2014, 22, from The Icreaon Blog:
http://blog.icreon.us/2014/03/03/how-social-mobile-and-cloud-technology-is-changingweb-development/
Kizler, D. (2013, 10 22). What is Responsive, Adaptive and Fluid Design? Defining Terms in a
Multi-Device World. Retrieved 4 22, 2014, from HyperArts:
http://www.hyperarts.com/blog/what-is-responsive-adaptive-and-fluid-design-definingterms-in-a-multi-device-world/
Mobile Web Development. (n.d.). Retrieved 4 22, 2014, from Mozilla Developer Network:
https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/Guide/Mobile
Rocheleau, J. (n.d.). Responsive Web Layouts for Mobile Screens: Intro, Tips and Examples.
Retrieved from HongKiat: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/responsive-for-mobile-screens/

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Tsao, C. (2013, 10 8). 6 Ways Mobile Technology Has Transformed the World's Poor . Retrieved
4 22, 2014, from Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/clara-tsao/6-waysmobile-techology-h_b_4054076.html