Emerging Trends of 'Adaptive Web' versus Dedicated Native Applications
By Duane Hepditch President & CEO, Guestfolio | March 18, 2012
Most people within the hotel industry understand the dynamics of a hotel's structural foundation. The foundation is the footprint, which defines it's frame, façade and overall appearance. As the building is developed each stage is less adaptable than the last based on that initial restricted foundation. When you build your hotel you think long-term about how people will move through it, interact with it and with each other.
Building your digital foundation, however, is a wholly different exercise. Your web space is defined by its transience, often replaced within a year or two as new opportunities or features are presented. In the web space your application needs to be responsive to all users accessing it as you simply can't predict when people will access your information and on what platform they will do so.
Mobile browsing is expected to outpace desktop-based access within three to five years. People are accessing the web via smart phones, tables, desktops, laptops, game consols and their TV's. Your architecture needs to support all of these outputs and even take into consideration how people will browse your content either by mouse, fingers, keypads, game controllers and touch interfaces. We're faced with a greater number of devices, input modes, and browsers than ever before. Building a foundation that will support these devices is critical to your guest engagement and your bottom line.
Can we really afford to commit to supporting each new device with its own custom experience and application? At some point, this starts to feel like a zero sum game. But how can we-and our designs-respond to this ever-changing game?
Enter Responsive Web
Responsive web design is a relatively new web development technique in which the layout of a website changes according to the size of the screen it is being viewed on. This means that the one website can be optimised for mobiles, tablets and full-sized monitors (and whatever else might be coming in the near future).