It’s 2016, and if 2015 was the Year of Mobile, then mobile-optimized websites must now comprise the majority of the Web — right? Well, maybe not. Because, while it’s now clear that mobile surpasses desktop for website visits on some sites, and even now rivals desktop for purchases, many website operators still have some work to do to ensure the mobile web experience is as good as that of desktop.
One reason for this is that it’s a major undertaking to modernize a major commercial website for mobile. According to Sunil Menon, who heads up HP’s digital marketing and analytics, the majority of web pages still need to be updated for mobile:
“9 out of 10 companies say that digital transformation is the priority with web, mobile and multichannel modernization at the top of their list of things to focus on. We also hear consistently that mobile is a priority for more than 78% of firms but the reality is that only 38% of the pages are mobile ready.”
E-commerce and marketing websites that handle visitors at scale are generally based on a CMS of some sort, which means the operators of these websites are looking to their CMS vendor to provide mobile optimization features.
As we learned at the recent HP Engage conference, HP is leading the way here, with the recent launch of TeamSite8. This latest version of HP’s enterprise CMS aims to improve the experience for Web users who visit TeamSite-powered websites, and for the developers who build them.
It’s what’s under the hood of TeamSite8 where HP really stands out. HP announced several new features in TeamSite8 that leverage Trilibis technology to enable differentiated mobile experiences for HP’s customers:
1.LiveSite mobile tagging. Advanced tagging enables developers to define how a page is presented to a device based on rules that govern appearance on variables such as OS, browser, device type, and local device features. TeamSite8 uses Trilibis SNOW technology to make TeamSite websites extremely knowledgeable about the device that is being used to access the page, and provides an efficient server-side mechanism to efficiently determine how the website should respond. For example, Trilibis SNOW facilitates the definition of highly granular break-points, based on individual device characteristics. This means developers can precisely control page presentation in a manner that exceeds what can be done using typical responsive design approaches. Another benefit is that SNOW boosts performance for the user by minimizing the size of content sent to the mobile device.
2. Device reporting. A huge part of HP’s overall value proposition for its customers is marketing analytics of website visitors. Since LiveSite8 can accurately determine the precise characteristics of every device that accesses any page, marketers can better identify emerging trends and further optimize the experience for mobile users.
3. Hybrid apps. HP has enhanced the multi-channel capabilities of TeamSite8 with the addition of support for hybrid applications within LiveSite Mobile. This feature employs Trilibis RAIN technology to provide a smooth path for website developers to deploy a TeamSite8 website as a hybrid app. In conjunction with HP’s Exstream technology, this means that HP customers can now engage with their customers across every channel: print and mail, email, mobile, social, web, and video.
These new features are automatically included for any TeamSite customer that upgrades to TeamSite8 with LiveSite Mobile, making it much easier and faster for enterprises, publishers and commerce operators to modernize their websites. We are incredibly pleased to say that Trilibis technology is helping HP to offer its customers the best in multi-device rendering for enhanced personalization and analytics.
If you’re an HP business partner and need more information how Trilibis SNOW and RAIN technologies can enhance TeamSite8 for your customers, please contact us.
Here’s a useful video that provides an overview of TeamSite8.
Developing and managing native mobile applications has been, and is still today, a major cost and time problem for businesses. One major challenge for developers is keeping pace with the increasingly fragmented device and OS market. New devices and OS updates continually flood the market, increasing the complexity of managing the mobile app lifecycle as developers try to ensure compatibility of their apps on the latest devices.
For enterprise developers, mobile application development platforms (MADPs), have simplified this problem by providing the capability to develop apps in less than half the time and cost of traditional approaches. However, even with MADPs, multiple codebases are needed to cater to the unique attributes of iOS and Android devices, as well as a range of other device types. There are any number of permutations that persist, given the varying device types, form factors and operating systems — requiring multiple versions of HTML and CSS for proper app development using a MADP.
Taking these challenges into account, and building on the technical foundation of our core product SNOW (Software Enabling One Web), we have created a MADP called RAIN, which allows developers to build optimized applications on the same HTML/CSS code as their desktop, tablet and mobile websites, just by using special server-side tags.
RAIN, which we’re making available to OEM ISVs today, allows developers to create channel-specific, native applications as required — this is great news for brands that want to deploy existing web content on mobile devices in the form of a app. RAIN ensures you will deliver the best user experience without the need to build a ‘one-size fits all’ mobile application. Better still, RAIN lets you do this from a single codebase — no need to bifurcate (or worse!) your code for difference platforms.
You can read about RAIN in today’s news release Click Here
RAIN supports the following native features on a wide array of target devices (including Android 2.2+ and iOS7+):
• Controlled Caching for offline content
• Push Notification with optional Geo-Fencing and Deep Linking
• Camera Access
• Contact List Access
With our core product SNOW, and now with RAIN, Trilibis is taking a singular code approach to Web and app development: one that provides an increased level of productivity and cost savings, which are much needed in the marketplace today. The ability to code once and deploy everywhere is becoming a reality, and we feel with RAIN we are just about there.
To learn more about how RAIN can speed up your mobile application development process, please contact email@example.com.
Trilibis Enables Vendors of Enterprise WCMS and Ecommerce Platforms to Accelerate Delivery of Device-Optimized Mobile Apps.November 3rd, 2015 by Meyyappan
OEMs of enterprise web content management and ecommerce systems can integrate Trilibis server-side technology to shorten app development time and deliver a more engaging customer experience on mobile.
LOS ALTOS, Calif.—November 3, 2015: Trilibis, the company that optimizes websites for the full range of mobile devices, is drastically shortening the time and resources it takes to transform Web applications to tailored native mobile apps with the launch of RAIN, a mobile application development framework for Web content management systems and e-commerce platforms. RAIN is an extension of Trilibis’ core technology, SNOW (Software eNabling One Web), and is based on advanced server-side tagging technology. Trilibis is offering its RAIN technology to OEMs, building upon its success powering HP LiveSite Mobile.
Two key trends are driving this latest announcement from Trilibis:
1) Rich media constitutes a greater percentage of mobile applications, which can cause higher latency and page-load times when mobile devices access today’s responsive websites;
2) Customer engagement on mobile depends upon apps built to take advantage of the native capabilities of today’s mobile devices, and offering engaging features such as personalized messaging and deep linking.
Already powering HP LiveSite Mobile, RAIN embodies Trilibis’ deep expertise in automating the creation of device-optimized websites. RAIN includes a combination of advanced server-side tagging technology and expert integration consulting services to accelerate the time to market for any independent enterprise software developer.
Unlike other mobile application development platforms (MADP), RAIN enables ISVs and enterprise developers to precisely optimize the users’ mobile app experiences across a wide array of target devices (including Android 2.2+ and iOS7+) — all from a single codebase. RAIN exceeds the capabilities of other MADP offerings by including sophisticated in-app push notifications, controlled offline caching, and comprehensive access to native device services and APIs, without the costly overhead of managing multiple codebases.
“Major software developers face a daunting challenge as they retrofit existing content management and e-commerce systems to deliver tailored Web content for rapidly evolving mobile platforms. We designed RAIN from the ground up to equip our OEM partners with what they need to code once and render everywhere, while ensuring an engaging customer experience,” said Meyyappan Alagappan, CTO of Trilibis.
Fastest time to market opens new possibilities for consumer engagement on mobile
Trilibis’ OEM partners can use the RAIN mobile application development framework to create Apple iOS and Android hybrid apps that automatically adapt and optimize existing Web assets for new mobile channels — essentially expanding their web content coverage to native mobile apps in minutes. RAIN uses patented, lightweight, server-side tagging technology to tailor the application experience for end users based on the OS and model of the mobile device they are using, and all from a single HTML/CSS codebase.
By integrating RAIN with Web content management and ecommerce platforms, Trilibis’ OEM partners can offer their respective customers tangible advantages over competing systems, all from a single codebase:
• Create disposable mobile apps in minutes (ideal for short-term promotions and trade shows)
• Manage mobile content directly from within a content management system or ecommerce platform
• Save time and ensure brand continuity by injecting existing website content into a highly optimized and engaging mobile app
• Boost app functionality and stickiness by giving customers access to native app functionality such as camera, location, and local data stores (e.g. calendar, contacts)
• Increase engagement using segmented push messaging to send context-driven, personalized messages to mobile app users
• Deliver a smoother user experience, even with dynamic content, via controlled caching
Comprehensive development environment with support included
As a partner of Adobe, Akamai, HP Autonomy and IBM, and with hundreds of customer mobile websites in-market for major brands, the Trilibis development team has extensive experience in a wide array of platforms and server environments. The RAIN OEM module includes:
• RAIN mobile application development framework shell and documentation
• Rich emulation tool for testing on variety of mobile devices
• Development and integration expertise to ensure fast time to market
Trilibis develops server-side responsive web design technology for businesses, brands and web development firms that need a true “One Web” website architecture. SNOW, the company’s core technology, makes websites device-aware and enables developers to design high-fidelity, high-performance web experiences across all desktop and mobile browsers. Trilibis is expert in unlocking device-specific features and functionality that make websites mobile-optimized, engaging and profitable. Trilibis is a private, venture-backed company located in Los Altos, California. For more information, visit www.trilibis.com or follow @trilibismobile.
Copyright 2015 Trilibis Inc. All rights reserved. Trilibis and SNOW are trademarks of Trilibis Inc. Other trademarks are registered trademarks and the properties of their respective owners.
Are web content management systems properly tuned for mobile?
Earlier this year, Google announced that it would consider the responsiveness and overall user experience of websites on mobile devices as it calculates rank and relevance of a website in search results. Google also said it would favor sites that were optimized for a better user experience on small screens — for example those that use larger font sizes and separate links so that they are easier to tap. Factoring the mobile user experience makes perfect sense in a world where the majority of web traffic is now between web servers and mobile devices.
The effect of the resulting tweaks that Google made to its search engine algorithms were at first discounted by industry pundits, but then later found to be quite significant. For example, Adobe tracked traffic to more than 5,000 sites, which it divided into two camps: mobile-friendly and non-mobile-friendly. Its statistics showed that, compared to mobile-friendly sites, traffic to non-mobile-friendly websites from Google mobile searches fell 12 percent in the two months after the changes took effect in April 2015. So, while Google’s new approach took time make an impact, it’s now clear that websites that deliver a poor experience on mobile devices are getting dinged by the world’s biggest search engine.
It’s easier for smaller website operators
If you’re operating a small or medium-size website with a manageable number of reasonably static pages (say, 10-20 pages), your path to Google redemption is pretty easy: make sure your website uses responsive design techniques. But if you’re running a much larger website, your path is likely much more complicated and possibly beyond your direct control. Ecommerce businesses and dynamic content publishers (enterprise and news media sites, for example) are probably using some sort of content management system, which means they’re completely dependent on their vendor’s ability to adapt to this massive shift to mobile.
Web content management (WCM) systems have become extremely popular with publishers, ecommerce operators and indeed any enterprise that manages a complex website. In a recent report, Gartner observed that the “…Web content management remains a vibrant and growing market, fueled by the aspirations of digital strategists on the demand side and continuous innovation on the supply side. IT application leaders, marketers, digital experience specialists and merchandizers all now view WCM as mission-critical.”
That report looked at just 10 vendors that offer WCM systems — although there are maybe three times that number that were not included. And that’s a lot of websites powered by WCM systems. Since dynamic content (and by extension, a WCMS) is the hub of every enterprise’s interaction with its audiences, it’s important to understand how these systems are adapting to the New World Order of the mobile web.
WCMS vendors have differing approaches to mobile optimization
To understand this, we’ve been talking to several of the WCM system vendors in recent months as they wrestle with how to improve the user experience they provide mobile users. What we’ve learned is that they employ one of four different approaches. Here’s a quick low-down of each, and our assessment of its suitability for a mobile-centric world.
First, let’s define them. Search Engine Land summarizes these rather well:
• Responsive Design. Often referred to as “RWD” for Responsive Web Design, this design approach uses fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images and varying CSS style rules to deliver different user experiences to desktop, tablet and mobile devices — while maintaining the same HTML and URL structure. The site shrinks or grows according to device.
• Adaptive Design. Also referred to by Google as dynamic serving, adaptive design serves different devices using the same URL structure, but it does so by detecting the device and generating a different version of the site’s HTML appropriate for that device. The site has multiple versions that are served through common URLs.
• Dedicated. Sometimes referred to as mDot (“m.”), this configuration delivers different HTML on separate URLs, depending on the device detected. The usual arrangement is to have the desktop site located on the www subdomain and the mobile-friendly site’s pages located on the “m.” subdomain. Pure Oxygen Labs recently reported that 54 percent of the Internet Retailer top 500 brands currently employ this configuration.
As we apply these approaches to WCM systems, crucial advantages and disadvantages become apparent. Let’s look at each and examine the role of the server versus the client, and what this means for user experience.
Responsive Design: this is the approach most favored by WCM vendors. To enable this as a client-side approach, often the WCM system uses a front-end framework developed by a third party such as those from Bootstrap, Skeleton and Zurb.
Observations: While this approach is great for the vendors (since only one codebase is required), it’s not great for users because all the web content is sent to the client, regardless of the device type. It’s simply optimized (via CSS) for presentation on the mobile screen. In our recent responsive design survey of media websites, we highlighted the poor user experience that can result when this approach is used on an image-rich website.
Adaptive design. Typically, the approach taken here by WCMS vendors is to use pre-configured templates (minimally, three) that are selected and served after identifying the target device and categorizing it into one of three screen-size classes.
Observations: In adaptive design, the server responds with different HTML and CSS templates from the same URL, depending on the user agent requesting the page. While this improves the experience for users, it’s not ideal for massive amounts of server-side content because it requires you to create and maintain at least three sets of content and code for each page.
Dedicated/m-dot: most experts would agree that this is a holdover from the early days of website design. The fact that it’s still so prevalent with ecommerce vendors perhaps shows how disruptive and costly it is to ditch this approach on favor of something more modern.
Observations: The single-largest problem with this approach is that it requires a completely bifurcated content and layout strategy: one for mobile and one for desktop. It’s an error-prone approach that Google clearly does not favor.
Trilibis take: User-first is more important than mobile-first
Through our work with some of the leaders in the WCM sector, we frequently hear that user engagement is key for high-traffic web publishers and retailers. For this reason, some WCM vendors are adopting a server-side strategy in conjunction with client-side adaptation, such as that employed by Trilibis’ SNOW technology, which goes beyond presentation (UI) to optimize how a website behaves (UX) on a particular device.
The Trilibis SNOW approach leverages server-side resources to deliver the advantages of adaptive design, only with a single codebase. In other words, SNOW offers dynamic serving on a unified code base (RESS): this provides the positive aspects of both responsive design and dynamic serving. In this approach, server-side code, working in conjunction with the WCM system and client-side capability, identifies the device type and features, then serves up only the HTML, CSS, and images required by that particular device, all from one code base. The result is a highly optimized user experience, reduced page payloads, and a super-fast experience for all users.
For many WCM systems, we think a complete RESS (Server-Side Components with Responsive Web Design) approach is an efficient complement to their existing architecture, and has provided our WCMS partners with a distinct edge in the marketplace, and a future-proof mobile engagement strategy.
To learn more about how Trilibis can work with your WCMS, email Jason Saroyan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re a VAD, SI or e-commerce solutions architect who specializes in IBM® WebSphere® Commerce websites, we’d like you to know about SNOW IO, a new server plug-in that can make a huge difference in customer experience and, ultimately, conversion to sale.
Website speed can have a massive effect on conversions, both good and bad. And for e-commerce sites, every additional second it takes your site to load reduces your conversion rate by up to seven percent, according to research from the Aberdeen Group. Beyond conversion, slow-loading websites see 11 percent fewer page views and get dinged with a 16 percent decrease in customer satisfaction. While a number of factors contribute to the overall weight of a web page, in our survey of top responsive websites, we found that the size of website images is a significant contributor to lengthy page-load times on mobile devices. The solution is to optimize the images for each page and ensure the right-size image is sent to the device that requested the responsive web page.
The Trilibis SNOW® Image Optimization solution (SNOW IO) is a great way to complete the entire process. What’s great about SNOW IO is that it goes beyond image optimization and delivers optimized image selection by device type. Installed as a simple plug-in on any IBM WebSphere Commerce server, and specifically validated for use with IBM® WebSphere® Commerce, SNOW IO automatically identifies images used on every web page and optimizes them for thousands of devices. At runtime, SNOW IO works in conjunction with the web server to identify the type of device that is accessing the website, and to ensure it is served only the appropriate images optimized for that specific device.
The resulting performance increases can be dramatic. During tests that we conducted with IBM, SNOW IO reduced the image weight of IBM WebSphere Commerce responsive web pages by 23 to 61 percent. SNOW IO can reduce page weight from megabytes to kilobytes, and shave valuable seconds off overall page-load times. In other words, SNOW IO makes your responsive website even more responsive!
SNOW IO is compatible with Commerce Composer (Feature Pack 7 and better), which means business users can focus on page layout and content without having to worry about right-sizing images. And if your system is using an older version of Composer (possibly with some other web design framework such as Bootstrap or Zurb), SNOW IO will still deliver noticeable customer experience improvements by minimizing both the size and number of image versions sent to the client device.
The combination of Trilibis SNOW IO and IBM WebSphere Commerce addresses a key objective for all online retailers: delivering the best possible customer experience across all devices. To learn more, see Trilibis SNOW IO on the IBM Cloud Marketplace.
You may be wondering how this integration works and how to configure SNOW IO. Bob Balfe, worldwide technical sales leader for IBM’s Commerce program, has developed a helpful video that takes you through the technical aspects of SNOW IO, how it’s configured on IBM WebSphere Commerce, and how it optimizes images used in your IBM Aurora storefront. Thanks Bob!