College Rolls Out Mobile Website to Meet Growing Demand
The launch of the college's new mobile website allows users to connect with the campus through a location-based map, interactive directory and many other features.
The mobile-friendly site at m.oswego.edu officially launched this fall to meet increasing demand from those accessing the college website on smartphones and tablets.
Smartphone sales surged past tallies of new desktop computers in fall 2010, and the increasing purchases of iPads and other tablets like the Kindle Fire are expected to push even more users to mobile.
Traffic via mobile devices to oswego.edu more than doubled from the previous year. For the past six months of 2011, smartphones and tablets represented 3.81 percent or 122,169 visits, compared to only 1.5 percent or 46,136 visits during the same period in 2010.
A survey of 1,789 colleges earlier this year found only 9 percent of schools had mobile-friendly sites, with many more moving in that direction.
Feedback from other colleges all suggested first developing a mobile version of a website as more important than focusing on apps.
"For content, we looked at what was of most value to users, especially students, that fit into the mobile form," said Rick Buck, Web support specialist and developer of the site. This includes location-based content, such as a mobile-friendly map that has GPS functionality so students and visitors to campus can find events, lectures and athletic contests.
So far, the map and a directory - where users can email or call a faculty or staff member with one click - have been the most popular features. Other icons connect to emergency contact information, news, athletics, social media links and Penfield Library's mobile presence. Users also can click a link that takes them to the full site, which was itself streamlined to better interact with mobile devices during last fall's redesign.
Future improvements on the mobile site — which, unlike an app, works on any mobile device — will include real-time weather functionality, showing all-important current conditions and forecasts for the campus, and a menu allowing students to see what's served in various dining halls.
— Tim Nekritz M '05
The new mobile-friendly oswego.edu website includes interactive maps like this screenshot.
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