Keeping up with the Jones just got a little easier thanks to Linear's automated Smart Phone Interface.
|When your site loads, your defined "loading image" will appear on the screen.|
If you don't have a smart phone, don't worry, you will. You see them everywhere as people check their email, text and surf the web. It's becoming increasingly important for your web content to be optimized for this explosive growth market.
A Linear site has a dedicated interface for creating and managing the Smart Phone menu - you decide what items and features will be available on the mobile interface. The content itself (editorial, obituaries, listings, etc.) is fully automated. Every component of Linear (except forms and contests) has been designed for optimal presentation in the mobile environment!
Designing for the mobile environment includes changing links, optimizing visuals, unifying text styles and re-purposing features such as comments, maps, email, phone numbers, links and searches. In the case of visuals, the mobile interface will automatically link small versions of an image to the full size version.
With the advent of GPS enabled smart phones, much of your advertiser content (i.e. listings and coupons) can now be sorted and viewed with proximity results. Business listings will include the "distance" from the users current position.
When users bookmark your site to their Home Page, your icon (45 by 45 pixels) will appear on the mobile device. Click the icon and your "loading image" will fill the screen while your mobile interface downloads. Its cool and easy.
|This example shows a banner ad at the bottom of the page.|
Monetizing your mobile site is easy. You can place banner ads (320 by 50) at the top and/or bottom of pages - banner ads rotate. Also, you can employ "PageStop" Ads which take almost the entire mobile screen (320 by 369). PageStop Ads are scheduled to appear every X number of clicks. So, as in our example site, after each "10" pages a PageStop Ad will appear. The user will need to click the "Continue" link to move past the ad. Similar to banner ads, PageStop Ads rotate.
The members/users on your website are automatically enrolled in you mobile interface. You can also allow members to sign up through the mobile environment using their cell phone number as the key. Once registered, the system will send a 5 character activation code as a text message to their phone. Once activated, these mobile members can comment and redeem coupons just like members who registered through your web site. Of course, member sign up and privileges are determined through your site's mobile preferences.
Specialized Coupon Controls
The mobile environment offers specialized controls for redeeming coupons - this has become a popular revenue source for Linear clients. If the mobile device is GPW enabled, coupons can also be viewed and sorted by proximity.
- Member Only: Redemption can be limited to registered members. The system can then track when and which members redeemed the coupon.
- Redemption Frequency: In the case of member redemption, a coupon can be limited as to how often a member can use the coupon - either daily, weekly, monthly - or only once.
- Redemption Limit: Since the system can track coupon redemptions in the mobile environment, you can apply a fixed limit to the number of coupons which can be redeemed. Once that limit is reached, users will receive a message that the total number of redemptions has been reached and the coupon cannot be used.
- Redemption Password: This control requires the vendor to type or share a password entered on the mobile device for a coupon to be redeemed.
You will have total control over the functionality and appearance of your mobile environment. Here is a brief listing of some features which may interest you.
- Menu Control: Key to the mobile interface is managing the structure of the navigation. Your Linear system starts with zero menu items! You have to designate each item. The menu structure can go 5 levels deep. VIrtually every menu link is automatically calculated as you add new menu items.
- Font Control: Your mobile interface uses a unified CSS font control architecture. You'll be able to define styles for titles, body, etc. with the same precision available on your normal website. In the case of the mobile environment, you'll only be managing about 7 styles.
- DIviders and Spacing: The mobile interface relies heavily on CSS containers for creating spacing and dividers. You will be able to choose among the CSS containers you have created within Linear for your mobile environment.
- Visuals: Largely, this portion of the mobil environment is automated. You can define default sizing for list and item visuals, but you won't need to resize images manually - the system takes care of that burden.
- Home Icon and Loading Page: You will be able to select your own images for the Home Page Icon (appears on the Home Page of the mobile device) and the loading page.
- Page Layouts: Linear's page layout controls can be directly called by the mobile device. You can even create your own home page placing the menu tree under a top "Menu" button.
- Call Elements: A popular feature within Linear which allows the site manager to create discrete listings from any portion of the system. Listings can be based of entry date, views, popularity, rating or featured status. Each Call Element can now be dedicated to the mobile interface.
- Themes The base linear system comes with two templates - black and "Apple blue". These are starting points. You can design your own templates for the mobile device - then base new templates of of existing templates. Changing the entire mobile site from one temple to another takes about 3 seconds! Viva la difference!
Before viewing the example on a desktop computer, please consider these points:
- Windows Explorer: The bane of web developers. The test interface will not work on a Windows Explorer - get a Smart Phone (iPhone, Droid, etc) and try the real thing. Best viewed using Macintosh Safari.
- GPS/Proximity functions: You'll be viewing the example on a desktop computer so certain features using "GPS" won't be enabled (i.e. sorting listings by proximity).
- Screen Resolution: Smart Phone screens are more than twice the resolution of a computer monitor, so the example will appear weirdly large to compensate.
- Scroll Compensator: Smart phones use finger gestures to scroll, our example has the screen slightly wider to allow for a horizontal scroll bar.
- Member Sign-up: the mobile member sign-up is based on the mobile phone number - the activation response is sent as a text message to the mobile device. So, you won't be able to create a member account using a desktop computer.
Open the Live Example
Actual Mobile Link (http://www.linearpublishing.com/mobile)
I've had a great experience with Linear Publishing. The system was easy to learn, and Greg and his staff are always available to answer any questions I may have.
Our readers are apparently liking the results, too, because our visits to the web site have tripled this year.Chris Timberlake, Web Development