Jen Looper is a Boston-based web and mobile developer, specializing in cross-platform educational and fitness apps for iOS, Android, Nook, Kindle and Windows phone. View her portfolio at www.ladeezfirstmedia.com.
The segregation of the mobile experience to a subdomain, the notorious ‘m’ domain, seems a little old school in 2014. It’s a legitimate question, in the fast-moving realm of mobile-web development, whether you should even consider having such a segregation.
In this article, I start from the premise that few entities use an ‘m’ domain any more, and present a few reasons why not. Then, playing devil’s advocate, I’ll offer a few reasons why you might want a separate subdomain to which to redirect your mobile user base.
Why nobody does it any more
RWD All The Things
The advent of responsive web design, mobile-first design, and progressive enhancement as design patterns have been enthusiastically embraced by many designers and developers. They have changed the way the business of design and development is done. Site designs, especially those built from scratch, are increasingly built from the ‘bottom up’ rather than the ‘top down’. Rather than creating a beautiful, feature-full site that will display well on large desktops and taking away or hiding functionality as the user’s screen shrinks to mobile.
A mobile-first design would start with a design that is attractive and functional on the smallest, and even potentially slowest or off-line mobile screen and progressively enhance the experience towards the high-definition desktop experience.
Going further, Scott Jehl recently suggested not so much a “mobile-first” strategy but rather a “global-first” strategy. Design a set of styles that are must haves across all screens and then enhance depending on a browser’s capability, dependent on what Scott terms a “cut the mustard” set of tests.
At a certain point, often when a portfolio grows larger than ten apps across app stores, it can become cumbersome and problematic to maintain the quality of a portfolio. Sometimes an app has been rendered obsolete and needs an update. Sometimes it can simply be retired.
Jen Looper shares some ideas to help you decide when and what to update and a handy flowchart (at the end of article) to help guide maintenance decisions over your apps’ lifespans.
If you are a mobile app developer and are planning to publish an app for iOS devices like the iPad and iPhone, you will inevitably face navigating iTunes Connect (ITC), Apple’s portal for managing the app publication process. If you are a new iOS developer and have not set up an account, head over to […]