Mobile Websites in Higher Education

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View the findings from a comprehensive audit and assessment of all 346 Division I college and university websites aimed at understanding the use, purpose and intended audience of mobile websites in higher education. Complementing the assessment findings will be mobile insights and best practices, as well as a ranking of the assessment’s top mobile websites based on a proprietary EMG mobile website scorecard. The presentation will conclude with “Building a Case for a Mobile Website.”

From this webinar you will take away:
1. Research data illustrating the landscape of college and university mobile website adoption
2. An understanding of the purpose and audience mobile websites serve in higher education
3. Inspirations and guidance for higher education institutions looking to create and refine mobile websites

For the recorded webinar with audio go to our knowledge center at www.visitemg.com

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Mobile Websites in Higher Education

  1. 1. Mobile Websites in Higher EducationAn EMG Webinar<br />Presented by: Elliot Darvick<br />04/14/2011<br />
  2. 2. Introduction Welcome and Hello.<br />About EMG Webinars<br />lQ&A session will occur at end of presentation<br />lPresentation will be recorded and posted to YouTube, Vimeo, & EMG Website<br />lSlides will be uploaded to SlideShare and will be available for download<br />lLinks to the presentation will be sent to all attendees<br />About Today’s Presenter<br />lElliot Darvick, Strategy & Media Team<br />lBased in Los Angeles Office<br />lPrimarily working with education clients<br />lProud owner of HTC EVO 4G<br />
  3. 3. STRATEGY<br />Research, Planning & Analysis<br />EXPERIENCE<br />Personalization, Engagement & Entertainment<br />RELATIONSHIPS<br />Awareness, Influence & Social Marketing<br />PERFORMANCE<br />Campaigns, Testing & Intelligence<br />TECHNOLOGY<br />Development, Customization & Integration<br />Introduction Welcome and Hello.<br />About EMG<br />lFull-service interactive marketing agency<br />lHeadquartered in Orange County, CA<br />lEstablished in 1999<br />lPast & current clients include: <br />
  4. 4. Introduction Welcome and Hello.<br />This webinar began with a quest to understand two things:<br />lWhat percentage of higher education websites have a mobile version?<br />lWhat purpose do these mobile sites serve, and who is their audience?<br />
  5. 5. Introduction Welcome and Hello.<br />This webinar began with a quest to understand two things:<br />lWhat percentage higher education websites have a mobile version?<br />lWhat purpose and audience do these mobile websites serve?<br />In the process we set two objectives:<br />lUse our scorecard to evaluate mobile websites in the higher education space<br />lLearn from our observation accumulated during research<br />
  6. 6. Introduction Welcome and Hello.<br />This webinar began with a quest to understand two things:<br />lWhat percentage higher education websites have a mobile version?<br />lWhat purpose and audience do these mobile websites serve?<br />In the process we set two objectives:<br />lUse our scorecard to evaluate mobile websites in the higher education space<br />lLearn from our observation accumulated during research<br />From all this we hope you gain:<br />l A better understanding of the mobile website landscape in higher education<br />l For those with mobile initiatives underway: Inspiration for evolving your efforts<br />l For those with mobile ambitions: Firepower for building a case to move forward<br />
  7. 7. Introduction Welcome and Hello.<br />This webinar began with a quest to understand two things:<br />lWhat percentage higher education websites have a mobile version?<br />lWhat purpose and audience do these mobile websites serve?<br />In the process we set two objectives:<br />lUse our scorecard to evaluate mobile websites in the higher education space<br />lLearn from our observation accumulated during research<br />From all this we hope you gain:<br />l A better understanding of the mobile website landscape in higher education<br />l For those with mobile initiatives underway: Inspiration for evolving your efforts<br />l For those with mobile ambitions: Firepower for building a case to move forward<br />Remember… ask questions! @EMGTheAgency@edarvick<br />
  8. 8. Agenda<br />Where we go from here<br />lWhat is a Mobile Website?<br />lRelevant Statistics<br />lResearch Methodology & Results<br />lScorecard Framework & Evaluations<br />lObserved Best Practices<br />lWe Need a Mobile Website! Making Your Case<br />
  9. 9. What is a Mobile Website? Setting the context<br />Mobile Websites in Higher Education = Ambitious Webinar Title! <br />lDefined as a version of an institution’s main website optimized for a mobile device<br />lAn institution can have many different mobile websites and mobile experiences<br />lMobile websites are light, can have app like features, and cater to different needs<br />
  10. 10. Agenda<br />Where we go from here<br />lWhat is a Mobile Website?<br />lRelevant Statistics<br />lResearch Methodology & Results<br />lScorecard Framework & Evaluations<br />lObserved Best Practices<br />lWe Need a Mobile Website! Making Your Case<br />
  11. 11. Relevant Statistics: Mobile Device Trends<br />U.S. smartphone users will nearly double from 2011 to 2015<br />lThere is an exponential growth in the number of individuals who use smartphones<br />l80% of all U.S. mobile internet users are smartphone owners<br />U.S. Smartphone Users, 2009-2015 (millions)<br />Source: eMarketer, Dec. 2010<br />
  12. 12. Relevant Statistics: Browsing Trends<br />The way we access the internet is rapidly shifting to mobile devices <br />lBy 2014 it has been projected more people will access the internet via mobile<br />Source: Morgan Stanley Research, April 2010<br />
  13. 13. Relevant Statistics: Search Trends<br />How users find your website is shifting to mobile too<br />lGoogle recently revealed mobile searches have increased six-fold in two years1<br />lMobile queries now make up almost 20% of all college and university queries2<br />2<br />1. Source: New York Times, April 2011<br />2. Source: Google Internal Research, October 2010<br />
  14. 14. Relevant Statistics: Trends in Teen Mobile Communication<br />“The mobile phone has become the favored communication hub for the majority of American teens.” <br />l83% of 17 year olds own a cell phone<br />l27% access web via mobile phone<br />lOf teens from households earning <$30,000 annually, 41% go online with cell phones<br />l44% of black teens and 35% of Hispanic teens use their cell phones to go online<br />Source: Pew Internet, Teens and Mobile Phones, April 2010<br />
  15. 15. Agenda<br />Where we go from here<br />lWhat is a Mobile Website?<br />lRelevant Statistics<br />lResearch Methodology & Results<br />lScorecard Framework & Evaluations<br />lObserved Best Practices<br />lWe Need a Mobile Website! Making Your Case<br />
  16. 16. Research Methodology: How we collected data<br />We surveyed the websites of 345 Division I colleges and universities<br />lWe chose Division I for a wide cross-section of institution characteristics<br />lProcessed all websites through a mobile browser emulator<br />lManually checked for mobile websites at each institution (URL appendages, links)<br />lRecorded a wide-variety of data along with qualitative observations<br />
  17. 17. Research Results: Percentage of Schools with Mobile Website<br />37%<br />63%<br />Mobile Websites as a Percentage of all Websites<br />A majority of the sites we examined did not have a mobile version <br />lOnly 37% of websites in our research had a mobile version, 63% did not<br />
  18. 18. Research Results: Analysis of Navigation Elements<br />Top 15 Mobile Website Navigation Elements Ranked by Frequency of Appearance<br />Higher education mobile websites are verystudent/campus focused<br />lNews dominates mobile websites, although some are more “practically” focused <br />lOnly 4% of mobile websites featured a link to admissions, 1% mention alumni<br />
  19. 19. Research Results: Analysis of Navigation Elements<br />Top 15 Mobile Website Navigation Elements Ranked by Frequency of Appearance<br />Higher education mobile websites are verystudent/campus focused<br />lNews dominates mobile websites, although some are more “practically” focused <br />lOnly 4% of mobile websites featured a link to admissions, 1% mention alumni<br />
  20. 20. Research Results: Methods of Mobile Website Exposure<br />34%<br />48%<br />18%<br />Breakdown of Mobile Website Exposure Methods<br />Amazingly, 48% of mobile websites have little or no public exposure<br />l34% of main websites detect mobile browsers and redirect to mobile version<br />l18% of main websites offer “mobile version” links on main website home page<br />
  21. 21. Research Results: URL Structures<br />13%<br />19%<br />http://m.baylor.edu<br />http://www.butler.edu/mobile<br />http://mobile.northwestern.edu<br />69%<br />URL Structures of Mobile Websites, Frequency<br />A majority of mobile websites follow the simple “m.” URL structure<br />lLanding page URL should be short: Under 40 characters<br />
  22. 22. Agenda<br />Where we go from here<br />lWhat is a Mobile Website?<br />lRelevant Statistics<br />lResearch Methodology & Results<br />lScorecard Framework & Evaluations<br />lObserved Best Practices<br />lWe Need a Mobile Website! Making Your Case<br />
  23. 23. Scorecard Framework: How EMG evaluates mobile websites<br />Category 1: Relevancy<br />lllUser Group: Students<br />lllUser Group: Prospective Students<br />lllUser Group: Other?<br />
  24. 24. Scorecard Framework: How EMG evaluates mobile websites<br />Category 1: Relevancy<br />lllUser Group: Students<br />lllUser Group: Prospective Students<br />lllUser Group: Other?<br />Category 2: Attraction<br />lllDoes experience reflect brand visual elements? <br />lllDoes experience possess high production values? <br />lllDoes experience layout encourage exploration? <br />
  25. 25. Scorecard Framework: How EMG evaluates mobile websites<br />Category 1: Relevancy<br />lllUser Group: Students<br />lllUser Group: Prospective Students<br />lllUser Group: Other?<br />Category 2: Attraction<br />lllDoes experience reflect brand visual elements? <br />lllDoes experience possess high production values? <br />lllDoes experience layout encourage exploration? <br />Category 3: Usability<br />lllDoes design encourage recognition over recall (i.e. does user have to think?)<br />
  26. 26. Scorecard Framework: How EMG evaluates mobile websites<br />Category 1: Relevancy<br />lllUser Group: Students<br />lllUser Group: Prospective Students<br />lllUser Group: Other?<br />Category 2: Attraction<br />lllDoes experience reflect brand visual elements? <br />lllDoes experience possess high production values? <br />lllDoes experience layout encourage exploration? <br />Category 3: Usability<br />lllDoes design encourage recognition over recall (i.e. does user have to think?)<br />Category 4: Delivery of Experience<br />lllHow quickly does the site load? <br />lllIs the site compatible with a variety of devices? <br />lllWhat is the depth of mobile optimization? <br />lllHow accessible is the mobile website? <br />
  27. 27. Scorecard Evaluation:http://m.utexas.edu<br />Category 1: Relevancy<br />lUser Group: Students<br />lUser Group: Prospective Students<br /><ul><li> Navigation skews heavily towards current students
  28. 28. Admissions doesn’t get a link, academics prominent though</li></ul>Category 2: Attraction<br />lDoes experience reflect brand visual elements? <br />lDoes experience possess high production values? <br />lDoes experience layout encourage exploration? <br /><ul><li> School colors and banding are consistent throughout
  29. 29. Great use of icons to represent the action
  30. 30. Icons also breed familiarity with mobile users.
  31. 31. Clear understanding of location of current page and nav
  32. 32. Content is displayed with the appropriate amount of info</li></li></ul><li>Scorecard Evaluation:http://m.utexas.edu<br />Category 3: Usability<br />lDoes design encourage recognition over recall?<br /><ul><li> Action laid out clearly and to correct scale
  33. 33. Users can quickly read and understand where they are
  34. 34. Users well prepared for what comes after the click</li></ul>Category 4: Delivery of Experience<br />lHow quickly does the site load? <br />lIs the site compatible with a variety of devices? <br />lWhat is the depth of mobile optimization? <br />lHow accessible is the mobile website? <br /><ul><li>Load time = 2.9 seconds
  35. 35. Layout renders correctly for a variety of devices, orientations
  36. 36. 100% of main navigation links point to mobile-optimized pages
  37. 37. Site served with mobile link on desktop home page</li></li></ul><li>Scorecard Evaluation:http://mobile.usc.edu<br />Category 1: Relevancy<br />lUser Group: Students<br />lUser Group: Prospective Students<br /><ul><li> Key student resources such as academics and athletics absent
  38. 38. Admissions doesn’t get a link in the main navigation</li></ul>Category 2: Attraction<br />lDoes experience reflect brand visual elements? <br />lDoes experience possess high production values? <br />lDoes experience layout encourage exploration? <br /><ul><li> School colors and logo are present throughout the site
  39. 39. Inconsistent color scheme on the inner pages
  40. 40. Navigation is recognizable and easy to understand
  41. 41. Excellent use of icons and subtle detail to guide users
  42. 42. Arrows quickly orient users toward specific paths</li></li></ul><li>Scorecard Evaluation:http://mobile.usc.edu<br />Category 3: Usability<br />lDoes design encourage recognition over recall?<br /><ul><li>All actions easily understandable and recognizable at first glance</li></ul>Category 4: Delivery of Experience<br />lHow quickly does the site load? <br />lIs the site compatible with a variety of devices? <br />lWhat is the depth of mobile optimization? <br />lHow accessible is the mobile website? <br /><ul><li>Load time = 3.5 s
  43. 43. Layout renders correctly for a variety of devices, orientations
  44. 44. 100% of main navigation links point to mobile-optimized pages
  45. 45. Site served with mobile link on desktop home page</li></li></ul><li>Scorecard Evaluation:http://m.vanderbilt.edu<br />Category 1: Relevancy<br />lUser Group: Students<br />lUser Group: Prospective Students<br /><ul><li> Prospectivestudent-friendly mobile website
  46. 46. Dedicated space for connecting on social networks</li></ul>Category 2: Attraction<br />lDoes experience reflect brand visual elements? <br />lDoes experience possess high production values? <br />lDoes experience layout encourage exploration? <br /><ul><li> School colors present but not used throughout all pages
  47. 47. Good background header, but icons lack branding
  48. 48. Layout and navigation are spaced well for user interaction
  49. 49. Great use of transitions and custom loading animation
  50. 50. Lack of icons slow understanding of possible actions</li></li></ul><li>Scorecard Evaluation:http://m.vanderbilt.edu<br />Category 3: Usability<br />lDoes design encourage recognition over recall?<br /><ul><li>User easily understands with the help of text and arrows indicators
  51. 51. Persistent bottom navigation always allows user to reorient</li></ul>Category 4: Delivery of Experience<br />lHow quickly does the site load? <br />lIs the site compatible with a variety of devices? <br />lWhat is the depth of mobile optimization? <br />lHow accessible is the mobile website? <br /><ul><li>Load time = 7.7 s
  52. 52. Layout renders correctly for a variety of devices, orientations
  53. 53. 100% of main navigation links point to mobile-optimized pages
  54. 54. Site served with mobile link on desktop home page</li></li></ul><li>Agenda<br />Where we go from here<br />lWhat is a Mobile Website?<br />lRelevant Statistics<br />lResearch Methodology & Results<br />lScorecard Framework & Evaluations<br />lObserved Best Practices<br />lWe Need a Mobile Website! Making Your Case<br />
  55. 55. Observed Best Practices: Insights to guide your efforts<br />Think Fast! Design Mobile Experiences for Speed.<br />l Mobile phones are all about quick experiences (SMS, BBM, Apps)<br />l Use minimalistic coding, avoid pop-ups and redirects<br />l In December W3C codified their Mobile Web Best Practices as a web standard<br />l Check out the W3C validator: http://validator.w3.org/mobile<br />
  56. 56. Observed Best Practices: Insights to guide your efforts<br />Know your audience (again)<br />l The audience for a desktop site is very different than a mobile website<br />l Given limited real estate, you must be very in tune with audience needs<br />l Consider creative ways to cater to multiple audiences<br />Source: XKCD<br />
  57. 57. Observed Best Practices: Insights to guide your efforts<br />It’s an extension, not an afterthought; brand accordingly.<br />l Going from one channel to the next should be visually seamless<br />l Subtle design elements can go a long way<br />l You wouldn’t let a brochure go unbranded, why a mobile website? <br />
  58. 58. Observed Best Practices: Insights to guide your efforts<br />Go deep! Optimization doesn’t end with your home page.<br />l Be thoughtful of where your links send users, proactively control experience<br />l When you can’t optimize any further, prepare your user for environment change<br />l Having to state this best practice will one day be irrelevant…<br />
  59. 59. Observed Best Practices: Insights to guide your efforts<br />Let data be your guide. Use analytics to make decisions.<br />lUse data to understand what handsets people are using to visit your site<br />lUse data to understand geography of mobile visits<br />lUse data to understand where mobile visits go on your desktop website<br />
  60. 60. Observed Best Practices: Insights to guide your efforts<br />App or Mobile Website? Yes.<br />l Mobile websites can deliver a very “App” like experience<br />l Decide what you are looking to accomplish first<br />l If you are going to offer both options, make sure you differentiate the experiences<br />
  61. 61. Agenda<br />Where we go from here<br />lWhat is a Mobile Website?<br />lRelevant Statistics<br />lResearch Methodology & Results<br />lScorecard Framework & Evaluations<br />lObserved Best Practices<br />lWe Need a Mobile Website! Making Your Case<br />
  62. 62. We Need a Mobile Website! Making Your Case<br />Use your own internal analytics data to prove need<br />l Very similar to using current website analytics during planning stages<br />l Set a threshold; when number of mobile visitors cross it, take action<br />l Study devices, geographic regions, content consumption and trending<br />
  63. 63. We Need a Mobile Website! Making Your Case<br />Use external research to illustrate pressing trends<br />l There are plenty of free resources for external research on mobile trends<br />l Conduct your own surveys formally or informally<br />l Study how your competition is utilizing mobile channels <br />
  64. 64. We Need a Mobile Website! Making Your Case<br />Work with your CMS vendor to explore possible solutions<br />lSpeak with your vendor; a mobile website might be more turn-key than you think<br />l The MIT Mobile Web Open Source Project was created for universities to use<br />lBoring is better than bounce<br />
  65. 65. We Need a Mobile Website! Making Your Case<br />Demonstrate potential of new front for connecting with prospects<br />l Mobile advertising channels carry their own set of economics, often better<br />l Explore new channels with no desktop alternative such as applications <br />l Work with an agency to create test campaign budget<br />Source: Google Internal Research, October 2010<br />Source: Google Internal Research, October 2010<br />
  66. 66. Recap: If you take away just 10 things<br />The LandscapelU.S. smartphone users will nearly double from 2011 to 2015<br />lBy 2014 more people will access the internet via mobile devices than desktops<br />lMobile search queries now make up almost 20%of all college and university queries<br />l83% of 17 year olds own a cell phone, 27% access the mobile web<br />lOnly 37% of D1 schools have a mobile version of their main website<br />Guidance<br />lMobile experiences must be fast and intuitive (think SMS)<br />lGiven limited real estate, focusing on your audience needs is crucial<br />lYour mobile website is an extension of your brand, not an afterthought<br />lMobile optimization doesn’t end with your home page<br />lLet your current site analytics data be your guide<br />
  67. 67. Contact us today to learn how EMG can apply its expertise in Mobile Education to help you get started!Toll Free: (866) 62-EARTH<br />www.visitemg.com<br /> FULL WEBINAR AVAILABLE TOMORROW<br />Youtube.com/earthboundmediagroup<br />Earthboundmediagroup.com/emg/home/<br />knowledge-center/webinars.html<br /> STAY CONNECTED WITH EMG<br />Twitter.com/EMGtheAgency<br />Facebook.com/earthboundmediagroup<br />

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