University launches new mobile version of the Gateway
U-M launched a mobile version of its website, www.umich.edu, today. The mobile version of the Gateway will include access to news, events, maps and wayfinding tools, and other campus information, and also will provide access to other mobile sites at the university.
The announcement was made by Lisa Rudgers, vice president for global communications and strategic initiatives, and Matt Schlientz, director of marketing.
U-M is on the leading edge of the movement to mobile web communications. It is estimated that only about 15 percent of U.S. colleges have a mobile version of their institutional website. But that is changing rapidly, with a large percentage of higher education professionals reporting plans to implement a mobile solution within the next year.
And the outlook for mobile computing overall is bright. In 2010 there were more than 50 million people in the United States alone who had smartphones. And a recent study by Morgan Stanley predicted that mobile use would outstrip desktop by 2015.
"It's critical to develop a comprehensive mobile strategy for the university as a whole," Rudgers says. "As the use of smartphones and tablets continues to skyrocket, there's a growing expectation, especially by prospective students, that the technology will be there to deliver the content they need. That's an expectation we've been focusing on, and one that we will continue to work hard to meet."
"The mobile site is also an opportunity to further build the brand," Schlientz says. "We maintained brand integrity through the use of graphic elements, fonts, and color palettes; leveraged the Block M, the U-M's most powerful visual mark; and added a daily featured image. The site has a dynamic presence and visual appeal that stands out in relation to other universities' mobile sites."
The mobile Gateway will offer users access to information about the university, including academics, athletics, news and events, menus for university residence halls, maps, and the "Magic Bus," U-M's real-time campus bus tracking app. It also will aggregate other university mobile websites, offering users one convenient place to go for all mobile-optimized content. And device-detection technology automatically serves up the appropriate interface to each user.