Archive for June, 2008

Web-based Applications

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Web-based Applications can truly enhance your web site. However, many web site developers fall in love with an operating system specific script and lose many potential customers. Writing code with Visual Basic is great if your customers are all using Internet Explorer, but customers using other web browsers will not be able to use your site.

Why would developers use operating system specific scripting? I have three reasons: laziness (Windows provides many GUIs for developing web sites), do not know about proper web site development and browser compatibility (No formal classes on web site development and the web sites they have create are copy and paste), are totally convinced that it is a Microsoft World.

Items one and three there is very little we can do for those web site developers, but the organizations they work for should be aware of the limitations of operating system specific scripting. For the second reason there is hope. Web site developers should concentrate on the basics of web page design. A good reference is The World Wide Web Consortium will provide the basics for universally supported scripting languages.

Use server-side scripting when data transformation is required. Do not overlook the power of HTML, XHTML, WAP, Perl, and PHP. If I am developing a web site I use free-hand as opposed to the applications that are available today. The reason is that free-hand enables me to tweak the application and know where to go to troubleshoot that application or web site. Simple is better in regard to web site design. Do not make customers wait to download fancy graphics or they will find another site to conduct business.

Mike Kniaziewicz, MIS

Have you considered mobile customers?

Friday, June 6th, 2008

Many organizations have a web-site; however, few have considered what to do with mobile customers. With today’s fast paced environment, people are trying to perform more functions on-the-move than ever before. Does your web-site favor mobile users?

Here is a quick test: Go to your URL through a cellphone or blackberry and take a look at what your customers are seeing. Chances are your site needs revisions to make it more mobile freindly. On the bright side, the changes are quick and do not take a lot of time.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Obtain a special URL or create another directory for mobile users. Do not make them go through your current web-site to get to the mobile site.
  2. Place your phone number and address at the top of the wireless web page site.
  3. Have a “landing zone” for when they go to the URL, so they are not greeted with a lot of clutter.
  4. Remove “table” tags, so all the user needs to do is scroll down the page.

These are just a few suggestions as to how you can make your e-commerce site more mobile-user-friendly.

Mike Kniaziewicz, MIS