With more people accessing the internet from mobile devices—smartphones, iPads and tablets—a trend has emerged, demanding internet access on the go. Todd Pousley, web content director at Marywood University, says Marywood’s new mobile site responds to a rapidly expanding smart phone use by students and the general public.
"We are coming into some new territory,” says Pousley, a member of the university's marketing and communications department. “We made the decision early on that we wanted to develop a mobile site in-house," Pousley explained. "The advantage to doing that is you have complete control over what you create."
Pousley and Marywood’s Web Development Office—Web Developer Mark Pitely, Web Design Specialist Amy Fedele, and Director of Web Development Sr. Kathleen Burns, IHM, Ed.D.—began work on a four-month project that resulted in the university's mobile site, which went live this month. Industry trends suggest that more people are using mobile devices to access the internet.
"We realized that there was a need for a mobile website based on our own analytics," Pousley explained. "We could see that people were coming to marywood.edu on their mobile devices, and we hope a mobile website will make it easier for students to access the information they need."
Listen to Todd Pousley discuss Marywood's mobile site.
According to Paskill, Stapleton & Lord, a higher education marketing firm, only 19 percent of colleges and universities nationwide have a mobile website. That number is expected to increase in the coming years, as more people use smartphones and other mobile devices to surf the web.
Mobile internet usage has been on the rise in recent years. Based on general trends in mobile internet usage, Pousley predicted that Marywood’s website would receive 100,000 annual visits from mobile devices by fall 2013. In the past year, however, the website received more than 130,000 mobile visits.
"We made the decision to choose a mobile website over a mobile app, which some universities have done," he said. "A mobile app requires the user to search and download it. The advantage to a mobile website: no downloads are required. If someone enters marywood.edu on their phone, they will automatically access our mobile site. It's a more user friendly experience."
For more information about the Marywood University mobile website, please contact Todd Pousley, web content director, at (570) 340-6019 or visit mobile.marywood.edu.
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