Choosing the right platform for your content

The 80s cult classic sci-fi film Tron may have had a bit of a confusing storyline and the visuals certainly haven’t aged all that well, but here at Stone Junction Towers we feel it dealt with some pretty important issues. Not least of which is the method people, and in our case engineers, use to access their data. 

By Lawrence Watts 

In the film, the only two options were using a chunky 80s computer or being scanned by a laser and transported into the computer itself. Nowadays the choices are significantly expanded, though nowhere near as cool.

The way users interact with your online content is integral to its success, whether they are using PCs, tablets or smartphones. The differences between the platforms should inform your decisions on the use of your online resources.

As a general rule, only content specifically designed for smartphones in App or responsive design form should be used to target mobile users. Multi environment platforms are probably the ideal choice for reaching users. In simple terms this means preparing the content in the most appropriate way for each web environment. So, you can access the same content via an App if you are a smartphone or tablet user as you can reach via a browser on a PC or Mac.

Responsive design can also work of course. If you want to know more about either, give us a call on 01785 225416.

Social media content is an ideal way of targeting at smartphone users. The portability of the platform is great for ensuring that users can be reached anywhere, but the reduced browsing experience of a smartphone lends itself better to simple, often app-based, resources like Twitter or Facebook.

Smartphones also give the option of easy content generation in the form of replies, short comments, pictures and even short form videos using services such as Vine or the video feature on Instagram.

Tablets are a little tricky as they are used primarily as a method to consume media rather than create it, although there are exceptions. They come with all the benefits of smartphones, but aren’t generally suited to composing long comments or replies due to the cumbersome onscreen keyboard. The exception to this is Microsoft’s Surface range, which has a cover with an inbuilt keyboard available.

However, Microsoft’s tablet market share was only 1.8% in the first quarter of 2013, so you can’t rely on many users having keyboard accessories. Additionally, with Apple still holding the lion’s share of the market it is worth remembering that the company’s i-devices do not run flash player, so any flash based resources you have need to be optimised for mobile too.

This is a familiar platform, so not as much needs to be said on the topic. The key word for PC interaction is complexity. More complex websites are ideal for traditional computers, because, while simplicity is the order of the day for smartphones, it can be frustrating for PC users.

Content generation is also more complex on PC. While fast simple responses from Vine or Instagram are limited to mobile, longer more polished content is the order of the day for PCs. Visitors to your site won’t necessarily want to record, render, edit and upload a five minute video as a response to something you have posted, thus the onus is on you to provide that content for your website so that customers can interact with it.

While none of this beats being scanned and transported into a computer, it’s clear that the method by which your customers interact with your various online resources is essential in both attracting and retaining their attention. Shame really, I have my Neon suit ready and raring to go.

Have an awesome Christmas and New Year’s Eve everybody. Stone Junction and its blog will be back on January 6.

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Richard Stone

Stone Junction is a cool technical PR agency based in Stafford. We work for all sorts of businesses, with a particular focus on technology, technical and engineering companies. We like being sent cake and biscuits by clients, journalists and prospects.

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