A new site and a new blog

Here we are with the first blog post on my new Wordpress setup on my recently updated site.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading on web design and mobile design over the last three years, but my job has kept me busy enough to not allow me to put all that I’ve learned into practice. I’ve certainly been able to put some things into play, but it’s hard working for a large organization that views the web and mobile offerings as secondary. We were finally approved to begin work on a mobile web offering (we’ve had a website and iPhone/Android apps for some time now) three years after it was proposed and prototyped. And that’s certainly fine, I understand approvals take time. It does amaze me though how people still do not understand why we would want to create a mobile web app.

As a background, I work at a financial institution, and we are talking specifically about online banking. Transferring funds, viewing account details, opening accounts… you name it and we have it. We were even one of the first to use remote deposits from your computer (Scanning a check to deposit it), as well as on iPhones, Androids, and even the iPad 2 with their cameras and our apps. Our website has been converted over the last few years to use a lot of web standards and progressive enhancement to work across most browsers and screens. But it’s still a pain to use on mobile devices. And because our business unit has talked to mobile app consulting firms, the belief is that we only need to focus on iPhone and Android through apps. Yet, literally everyday we get questions about why there’s no way for Blackberry users to access our full site. Less often, but often enough we get requests for Windows Phone 7 and webOS users. We even get questions from our iPhone and Android users asking the same thing, as even though we have apps for them they 1) don’t know about it or 2) simply would rather use the browser.

There’s a place for native apps, and I’m glad we have them, but it’s only a part of the puzzle and we are missing out by not having a web version that is more usable for these smaller screens and different input features. It’s not one or the other when it comes to apps - both have a place and purpose.

Regardless, here’s my small site redesign that adapts with responsive web design and finally gets my thoughts out here with this blog. It’s been a long time coming, but Spring is in the air with Summer to soon follow, so I shall make the most of it.