SXSW Panel – Moving the Web onto Mobile Devices

SXSW Panel – Moving the Web onto Mobile Devices

Panel – Moving the Web onto Mobile Devices

Take a look at how the complexity of design has increased exponentially with the web moving onto today’s mobile devices. There are so many more considerations when thinking about a design or a campaign that go beyond the basic, “who is my target audience….how do I reach them?” Now it’s also, “what devices do they use…what browsers… I use Flash in my designs….what about HTML5?” Hear from a panel of industry experts about how they are dealing with these questions and what winning strategies they have found to be most successful for them.

Frederic Lardinois, Writer, NewsGrange
Kristin Long,
Noah Broadwater, VP, Information Svcs, Sesame Workshop
Scott Fegette, Prod Mgr Dreamweaver, Adobe Systems Incorporated


  • How do you work with devices that don’t have Adobe/Flash support?
    • Fegette – iOS is one area Adobe won’t touch. Let people make one version of an app and push it out to all devices. Heavily depends on which assets developers start with.
    • Fegette – When coding with web standards, you are forced to take a wider approach to feature development, and can’t hone in on individual device capabilities.
    • ED – Fegette seems to be trying to say that he doesn’t like web standards, because it forces broad compatibility, but not specific features. I disagree, and think that specific device capabilities are becoming more broadly supported by the web standards, and mobile web browsers
    • Broadwater – yeah, HTML5 and web apps are really great and all, but there’s NO standard for HTML5 – it’s way way too loose out there, and there is not yet support for specific device capabilities. With native apps, developers can harness the devices specific capabilities, and keep devices secure. You can’t run web apps with as high security clearance as native apps.
    • Broadwater – With Adobe’s technology, you can develop once, and then export both for a native app, as well as for mobile web.
    • Fegette – Flash development environment can export to HTML5 and native app formats. But going from native web app development to installed app/flash compatibility is much much harder.
    • Fegette – As browsers on mobile get better, and networks get better, native web apps will see a growth in popularity. (ED – I AGREE! This is what I’ve been preaching for years. The networks/web standards/mobile browsers need to get better, and when they do, web apps will rule.)
    • Fegette – Libraries like Phone Gap
  • What do you gain by taking your web content over to a mobile device?
    • Broadwater – It changes the experience. With native apps, you have offline capabilities. Knows as the handback effect – able to just hand off the phone and have someone be able to interact with it.
    • Broadwater – With touch devices, it’s a much more intuitive way of interacting with a device and your reality. You can do things you couldn’t do before. Cool new unique experience by moving data over to a mobile device. Kids know how to use tablets intuitively.
    • Long – I want all the info my clients need to access available in their pocket. Big step forward is getting all clients into content management systems, where all content is repurpose-able for mobile.
  • Can you think of any content on the web that just won’t work on a mobile device?
    • Broadwater – Video is expensive. Hard to implement
    • Long – Long form content is hard to do on mobile, needs to be paired down for mobile]
    • Long – Fat finger effect. Content needs to be restructired for touch interfaces
  • How do you feel about using YouTube for hosting video content?
    • Broadwater – Sesame Street can’t do that, but it is a possibility. As a general rule of thumb, shoot and store your highest quality video, so you can transcode video to whatever formate needs to be served.
    • Long – Using YouTube doesn’t look as professional. However, it is EASY to deploy on multiple platforms, so can be effective when time is short.