McCorkindale, Tina, & Morgoch, Meredith (2013). An analysis of the mobile readiness and dialogic principles on Fortune 500 mobile websites. Public Relations Review, 39(3), 193-197.
With the rise in mobile technologies, companies must be aware of how various stakeholders are using their websites through their mobile devices. Using a content analysis, this study analyzed the five dialogic principles of Fortune 500 websites accessed from mobile phones and also assessed their mobile readiness. While most companies did not have mobile websites, more non-mobile websites featured the dialogic principles due to their targeting of multiple stakeholders as mobile websites appeared to be more customer-centric.
A content analysis was employed to determine how dialogic principles of 100 websites of the 2012 Fortune 500 were presented on two smartphones (Android and iPhone).
1) Fortune 500 companies as a whole have not prepared mobile-ready websites since fewer than one-quarter of the organizations had them
2) Non-mobile websites scored significantly higher than mobile websites on the dialogic principles due to content availability
3) Many mobile websites primarily tailored their sites to one specific stakeholder – the customer
4) With non-mobile sites, more than three-quarters included media information that would benefit journalists or analysts compared to less than one-quarter of the mobile sites
5) Non-mobile websites featured more information based on the dialogic principles but navigating the sites on a mobile device was more complicated and frustrating
6) More than one-quarter of the video and audio did not play on the mobile phones due in part of the inability of iPhones to play Adobe Flash videos
Implications for Practice
Overall, companies need to provide mobile-ready sites to help their stakeholders, but must provide beneficial information to a wide variety of stakeholders and not just customers. As indicated previously, mobile users are increasingly relying on their smartphones to access websites not only to purchase products and services but also to get more information about the organization. Companies should not adopt a “one size fits all approach” and make sure their sites work across multiple platforms and devices. Non-mobile sites that make it difficult to find information can lead to frustration.
The full article is available for at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S036381111300043X
One thought on “An Analysis of the Mobile Readiness and Dialogic Principles on Fortune 500 Mobile Websites”
The research apparently was done just last year but the basic point and conclusion of the study (“companies need to provide mobile-ready sites”) seems to be running behind the curve. The use of “mobile websites” is fine for a small site or single-purpose site, but for complex sites with multiple stakeholders it’s going the way of the horse and buggy. Having a separate mobile site rapidly is being replaced with “responsive design” that detects the type of device you are using and adjusts accordingly-which means the company website becomes quite readable on a smartphone.
For example, look at this page http://www.stlzoo.org/visit/ on your computer then gradually reduce the browser window to the size of a smartphone. You’ll see breakpoints where the sidebar disappears, then the photo gallery disappears, and you’re left with readable copy in one column with the key navigation links showing above. And that means people on the go can get the information they need…not just a few pages on a mobile site, but all the information in every section of your website, even for a big site like that of a Fortune 500 company.
Here’s an overview of responsive web design: http://coding.smashingmagazine.com/2011/01/12/guidelines-for-responsive-web-design/
Principal, WebSanity LLC