Mobile websites vs. responsive design

Vierityspalkki organized this morning seminar for the second time on friday 16.6. The event was hosted by SC5.

First to take the stage was SC5’s Pyry Lehdonvirta

…who proposed the challenges that todays CMS systems face as platforms for content for mobile devices. His main point being that the presentation layer will need to be separated from traditional page driven content. According to Pyry this is necessary to accommodate the features of contemporary touchscreen devices – swapping pages via swipe, local storage etc. These arguments are somewhat provocative. We can question whether the average user pays much attention to whether the presentation layer is separate as long as the user experience is consistent and enjoyable.

Another key point was the blurring of device categories, meaning that todays clear cut definitions: phone, tablet & desktop will not be relevant in the near future. This is probably something we all can agree on.

Next up was Tuukka Uskali from Sininen Meteoriitti

Tuukka presented how they at Sininen Meteoriitti make responsive and mobile sites using SharePoint 2010. Apart from platform specific examples, the best insight for me was Tuukka’s proposal for an iterative approach for updating existing websites to responsive standards. Meaning that a company’s website doesn’t have to go responsive all at once. Rather that you start first with the most critical use cases and adapt them for mobile and tablet devices. Then over time You iterate and expand the responsive solution to the entire content.

The third speaker was Mikko Huilaja

Mikko also works at Sininen Meteoriitti. His presentation was a technical demo of EPiServer. An interesting presentation of what the tool can do in the right hands. Some nice features like device specific multichannel publishing options.

Thanks to Vierityspalkki and Perttu Tolvanen for this and the other seminars they’ve been hosting. We need more of this kind of activity in Finland.