4 min

What does "mobile first" mean to the media?

If a media org has to ask that question in September 2013, then that media org is already way behind the times and behind their competitors.

Are media org's taking a "wait and see" (decay some more) approach to mobile design?



Jon Steinberg, president, BuzzFeed
Mobile-first is not enough. Mobile should be all you care about.

Julie Hansen, president, Business Insider
It means mobile at the expense of other formats, so an experience that's great on mobile but lousy elsewhere -- or not as good elsewhere. [what?] We're going to concentrate on nailing the cross-screen experience first, before we move onto mobile-first experiences. [double what?]

Edward Roussel, head of consumer product, Dow Jones
Mobile-first is shorthand for saying that the dominant platform for digital media will soon be portable computers. The mistake is to think such “mobile” devices will replace desktop or laptop computers. They will merely add to the number of devices we use. [what?]

Jay Lauf, publisher, Quartz
For Quartz, “mobile-first” is how we designed our interface. Clean and simple so our content shines on the devices closest at hand—smartphones and tablets. Since global business professionals are mobile, our decision to build a news site in responsive design and primarily for smartphones and tablets reflects our focus on the target audience and their habits. [what a shock that a new media biz understands this the best]

Brian Fitzgerald, president, Evolve Media
It means approaching the type of content, its length, and more, with a focus on how and why users are consuming your content on mobile devices. [overthinking?]

David Payne, chief digital officer, Gannett
Being “mobile-first” means having a deep understanding of the absolutely tectonic shift that has happened as a result of arming millions of people with personal pocket computers that have become their go-to crutch whenever there are a few seconds to spare. Whether content-, commerce-, or game-based, the successful mobile product companies of the future will recognize the new behaviors and needs created by this phenomenon and transform their workflow and products to fulfill these needs. [um, okay. what a shock that this way-overthinking comes from an old, established media biz]

Steve Hansen, CEO, Spin Media
Obviously consumption of content using mobile devices is exploding, particularly for the younger demographic. But publishers need to understand that great content needs to be device and platform agnostic. It’s more about the connection between a user and great content than the device. [meh]

Thomas Plunkett, chief technology officer, Gawker
At the high level, mobile-first means build where users are and where technology is going. In practice, we build features mobile-first. We simplify the product. It forces us to think about what is essential; extend features to desktop. We have a ton of work to do on the mobile-optimized payload front, but it comes down to tailoring dependencies (images, javascript, css, etc.) for mobile. It means adaptive design. We’re staying away from mobile specific templates. [better]

Mark Howard, chief revenue officer, Forbes
Mobile-first means developing for small screens before developing for desktop. Mobile is still the untapped frontier for many publishers, and even by introducing new user experiences, you aren’t guaranteed to deliver value for your marketing partners. They too need to be focused on how to deliver an optimized experience for the small screen. [too much convoluted corporate speak]

Robyn Peterson, chief technology officer, Mashable
Mobile is not coming — it’s already here, and the media industry is scrambling but moving too slowly. Mobile-first is a reaction to this, but it’s not the right reaction. We need to build for all screen sizes. In design, there are no more “hero sizes.” We must design for a spectrum of resolutions and pixel densities. ... bringing a better experience to readers is the focus of a responsive and adaptive design ...

Matt Turck, publisher, Slate
The mobile user comprises a third of our traffic. And while many readers use our apps, we’re also seeing huge growth among mobile users of the web browser. That’s why Slate is moving to more of a 24/7 publishing model for editorial and social outreach (so we can reach those night and weekend readers) and toward responsive design — our readers will have a true 360-degree user experience, with access to all our great content whenever and wherever they are. And, of course, allowing a multi-platform ad experience. [excellent]

November 2012 Medium.com post titled Having a Mobile Strategy is Like Having a Laptop Strategy 20 Years Ago

Having a mobile strategy understates the importance of mobile. It suggests that mobile is one of many important online distribution channels, as opposed to the reality - it is the most important channel, and in fact, making a distinction between the desktop and mobile web is a mistake.

#media - #mobile - #responsive - #design - #blog_jr

By JR - 799 words
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