Position of Day Software for W3C "Mobile Web Initiative" Workshop

Position of:

Day Software AG


Who is Day Software

Day Software is specializing in Web Content Management for large, global organizations.

Day Software is a publicly traded Software company headquartered in Basel, Switzerland and works for customers such as McDonalds, Best Western, DHL, DaimlerChrysler, Audi, Deutsche Post WorldNet and others with respect to their global Web Content Management and Publishing needs as a Software Vendor.

Many of our customers are looking to be able to manage a single content repository as the source to publish to a variety of different channels often including one or several mobile channels.

Relationship to Mobile Web

Day Software and our customers have been using various different mobile technologies and standards (some more, some less successful) over the last 5 years.

Since a CMS (Content Management System) is important both on the content contributing side and on the content delivery side, we experienced the limitation of past and current mobile devices in various different aspects, starting from habits of mobile users to physical hindrances (and also benefits) of the display and interaction mechanisms that are provided by mobile devices.

We would like to exchange ideas and experiences on successes and failures that we experienced in the mobile web environment the recent years, particularly in the following areas:

Authoring for Mobile Devices

In many cases our customers want to support a variety of Mobile Devices to publish to and would like to repurpose infromational content from their website in their "mobile portal", unfortunately it turns out that the authors of content that is used on mobile devices have to be experience mobile users themselves to be able to judge if content is feasible for consumption on mobile devices.
Not only do these authors have to make a judgment call if content is appropriate for a particular device but often the content (textual) should be rewritten entirely so it is easier to be consumed on the respective mobile device.

Given the large variety of devices that are available the Content Author is burdened with testing his Content on a number of simulation devices to find out how to present the Content the best. And since the capabilities of the devices from screens to input mechanisms vary a lot an arbitrary choice has to be made.

Publishing to Mobile Devices

Multichannel publishing is a very important aspect in Day Software's products. We do not limit ourselves to the presentation of text based formats but also support generation of binary image formats (WBMP, ...) to display information that is more efficient to be displayed as a graphical element, rather than text.

In our experience neither the transport layer through HTTP nor the (sometimes exotic) resource formats have been a problem, but to come up with a reasonable navigation / UI that is both useful and satisfies the branding needs of the customer, with the limited screen "real-estate" that is available on a mobile device.

Authoring from Mobile Devices

Some of our customer experiment to use mobile devices to author information, rather than using the mobile devices as consumers of such information that has originally been created on regular desktops.

Authoring content from Mobile Devices we found that the inability of mobile users to enter text information in an efficient way into form fields can be compensated in some respect, by extensions of other means of contributing information such as pictures taken by a camera, information kept in phonebooks or GPS.

Date: 2004/10/15 by David Nuescheler