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Managing Mobile


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Managing Mobile

  1. 1. Managing Mobile TIMOTHY QUINN Screens 2011 / FITC Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 9:30am Metro Toronto Convention Centre North Building, Room C
  2. 2. Me <ul><li>Currently: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Senior Director, Mobile @ Transcontinental </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Formerly: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Vice President, Production @ Vortex Mobile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Director of Site Operations @ Toronto Star </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Director of Production @ Trapeze </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Author of Octopus Intelligence </li></ul><ul><li>Blog: Process Refactored </li></ul>
  3. 3. Transcontinental
  4. 4. Today’s discussion <ul><li>Platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Processes & tools </li></ul><ul><li>Q&A </li></ul>
  5. 5. Good reasons to pursue mobile <ul><li>Increasingly large mobile user-base </li></ul><ul><li>Reach users outside of the office / home </li></ul><ul><li>Unique use-cases unachievable with desktop web </li></ul>No-so-good reasons <ul><li>Competitive market pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Desperate urge to re-energize a stale brand </li></ul>
  6. 6. 450M CDN mobile web reqs/mo
  7. 7. Small % of web, but increasing
  8. 8. Smartphones used ~34 times/day
  9. 9. Mobile usage patterns differ
  10. 10. Uniquely mobile use-cases <ul><li>Choose a nearby restaurant based on ratings, price, type of cuisine </li></ul><ul><li>Receive proximity-based coupons or check flyers before entering a store </li></ul><ul><li>Be rewarded for physical check-ins </li></ul><ul><li>Pay by phone or use a mobile loyalty card </li></ul><ul><li>Upload location-specific photos to participate in a contest </li></ul>
  11. 11. Case study: Ontario Tourism
  12. 12. Case study: Maynards’ Most Wanted
  13. 13. Just add mobile? <ul><li>Print -> Interactive </li></ul><ul><li>New delivery platforms </li></ul><ul><li>New production processes </li></ul><ul><li>New skill-sets </li></ul><ul><li>New business model </li></ul><ul><li>Interactive -> Mobile </li></ul><ul><li>New delivery platforms </li></ul><ul><li>New production processes </li></ul><ul><li>New skill-sets </li></ul><ul><li>New business model </li></ul>
  14. 14. Platforms
  15. 15. Parsing the mobile ecosystem <ul><li>Trigger/acquisition technologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>SMS, QR codes, email </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Content technologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mobile web, mobile (native) apps </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social enabling technologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Content technologies <ul><li>Mobile Web </li></ul><ul><li>Runs in a browser using HTML/CSS/JavaScript </li></ul><ul><li>Is remotely hosted, just like desktop web (and may utilize same architecture / content management) </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile (native) apps </li></ul><ul><li>OS-specific </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation code is stored locally; can also access server-side resources </li></ul><ul><li>Downloadable from app marketplace </li></ul>
  17. 17. Mobile web vs. native apps <ul><li>If possible, invest in both: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Viable user-base for each </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Efficiencies in parallel development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Diverse technologies & skill-sets can protect against platform deprecation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Forced to choose? </li></ul><ul><li>Definitely some pros and cons to be aware of... </li></ul>
  18. 18. Advantages of mobile web <ul><li>Can go live on a whim – no dependency on third-party marketplace </li></ul><ul><li>(Basically) non-platform-dependent – viewable wherever there’s a browser </li></ul><ul><li>Manageable / updatable in real-time </li></ul><ul><li>Can easily access existing content assets </li></ul><ul><li>Leverages ubiquitous developer skill-set: XHTML, CSS, JavaScript </li></ul>
  19. 19. Disadvantages of mobile web <ul><li>Requires a browser and Internet connection </li></ul><ul><li>Narrower capabilities than native apps </li></ul><ul><li>Device detection isn’t flawless </li></ul><ul><li>Encourages “one size fits all” development mindset </li></ul>
  20. 20. Advantages of native apps <ul><li>Premium placement on deck – no need to bookmark and launch in a browser </li></ul><ul><li>Robust platform-specific capabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Doesn’t necessarily require live Internet connection </li></ul><ul><li>Can leverage some of the same content assets as other platform builds </li></ul><ul><li>Promotion through third-party marketplace </li></ul>
  21. 21. Disadvantages of native apps <ul><li>Separate app build for each platform </li></ul><ul><li>At the mercy of third-party marketplace </li></ul><ul><li>Separate development skill-sets for each platform (many of them currently commanding higher salaries) </li></ul><ul><li>Platform upgrades can force app upgrades </li></ul>
  22. 22. Another option <ul><li>Third-party transcoding platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Converts mobile web technologies into platform-specific technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Most accept HTML/JavaScript codebases and spit out iOS, BB, Android, Symbian, etc. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Popular transcoding platforms
  24. 24. Advantages to transcoding <ul><li>One codebase for numerous platform-specific builds </li></ul><ul><li>As with mobile web, leverages ubiquitous developer skill-set (XHTML, CSS, JavaScript) – no need for additional platform-specific coding capabilities </li></ul>
  25. 25. Disadvantages to transcoding <ul><li>Licensing fees </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile web feature constraints still apply in final builds – platform-unique functionality remains inaccessible </li></ul><ul><li>Breadth of platform output varies – most support iOS, but other platforms are less consistently supported </li></ul>
  26. 26. Skills
  27. 27. Hiring challenges <ul><li>Rare skill-sets, especially for platform-specific development </li></ul><ul><li>Higher salaries than desktop web development </li></ul><ul><li>Best candidates tend to be early in their careers, without a lot of industry experience </li></ul>
  28. 28. Mobile developer salaries
  29. 29. Hire or contract? <ul><li>Depends on what’s being built, which platforms will be deployed, and how often apps will be updated </li></ul><ul><li>Viable contract options might include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Short-term on-site resourcing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Off-site domestic resourcing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Offshore resourcing </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Non-coder roles <ul><li>Project management </li></ul><ul><li>Business analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Account management </li></ul><ul><li>Usability </li></ul><ul><li>Visual design </li></ul><ul><li>Quality assurance </li></ul><ul><li>Systems administration </li></ul>
  31. 31. Training <ul><li>All team members need to be learning-oriented – mobile skills are far from static </li></ul><ul><li>Team members’ skills must evolve with marketplace – this is the risk and reward of working with nascent technologies </li></ul><ul><li>Even agnostic back-end technologies need to keep abreast of mobile innovation </li></ul>
  32. 32. Processes & tools
  33. 33. Methodology <ul><li>Most development environments are a hybrid of agile / waterfall </li></ul><ul><li>Mobile doesn’t mandate one methodology or the other… </li></ul><ul><li>… but it does impact how we: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>plan; provision; perform UX; perform design; resource development; perform QA / UAT; deploy and maintain builds </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Planning <ul><li>Is mobile an integrated part of an overall campaign, or simply a standalone UI? </li></ul><ul><li>Shortcode / media provisioning </li></ul><ul><li>Platform selection (also device selection, OS selection, browser selection) </li></ul><ul><li>Network / non-network experience </li></ul>
  35. 35. UX <ul><li>Device diversity and constraints mean heavier UX – flow will differ across platforms </li></ul><ul><li>Templatized workflows and wireframes can help </li></ul><ul><li>To optimize mobile information flow: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reprioritize </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Remove </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leverage device capabilities </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. Mobile information flow: Amazon Books still above fold Limit search Endless ads
  37. 37. Mobile information flow: Dominos Assumes browse Language selector No menu
  38. 38. Mobile information flow: NY Times Image browse Appeal to hi-fidelity Everything at a glance
  39. 39. Managing device detection <ul><li>Decide on optimum flow for device detection: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain one site which progressively enhances? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Automatically shunt traffic to separate sites? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide landing page with choice of separate sites? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Defer to desktop site with an option to click over to mobile experience? </li></ul></ul>
  40. 40. Visual design <ul><li>To minimize visual design effort, find lowest common denominator for device clusters </li></ul><ul><li>For external design, be extremely specific about constraints (size, resolution, acceptability of gradients) </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t disparage big buttons, simple palettes, nav stacks </li></ul>
  41. 41. UX / visual design toolkit <ul><li>Omnigraffle / Visio </li></ul><ul><li>Axure </li></ul><ul><li>Photoshop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Grids ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>GUI Templates ( ) </li></ul></ul>
  42. 42. Project management / resourcing <ul><li>Multiple platforms and/or increased contractor usage will require more robust resource dashboarding and management </li></ul><ul><li>Parallel development of multiple platforms means PMs are going to be busier </li></ul><ul><li>Daily scrums are vital </li></ul>
  43. 43. Project management toolkit <ul><li>Resource management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Docs ( ) </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. Status of active projects (color for billable, B&W for internal) Status of inactive projects Allocated resources
  45. 45. Project management toolkit <ul><li>Variance management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Jira ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Project Slicer ( ) </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Project metadata Project variance details Quality metrics
  47. 47. Project management toolkit <ul><li>Asset management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Basecamp ( http:// ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Source code management </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>MediaWiki ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Task management </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pivotal ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jira ( ) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NUB ( ) </li></ul></ul>
  48. 48. QA <ul><li>QA hours will be heavily impacted by platform/device/OS breadth </li></ul>
  49. 49. Device diversity in QA
  50. 50. QA <ul><li>Invest in hardware or DeviceAnywhere ( ) – emulators aren’t nearly good enough </li></ul><ul><li>Early QA involvement in development is important </li></ul><ul><li>Plan your client beta rollout in advance </li></ul>
  51. 51. Deployment <ul><li>Understand the rules of any third-party marketplace – iTunes is particularly vigilant </li></ul><ul><li>Plan for lengthy turnaround times and the possibility of rejection </li></ul><ul><li>Have a secondary distribution plan for every platform except iOS (which doesn’t allow this) </li></ul>
  52. 52. Maintenance <ul><li>Plan for ongoing maintenance and upgrades </li></ul><ul><li>App store distribution means users will be notified of updates – but expect delays in getting those updates to market </li></ul>
  53. 53. Questions? LinkedIn: Twitter: Facebook: SlideShare: My Blog: My Book: SlideShare Twitter LinkedIn