Friday, October 3, 2014

The Public Sector Considers Mobile-First Approaches to Citizen Interactions

More states and cities are announcing “mobile-first” strategies, but what does that really mean?

 Cellphone illustration

The term “mobile first” was introduced by technology entrepreneur Luke Wroblewski in 2009. The term is an acknowledgment that many — maybe the majority — of users now use mobile devices to access information, shop and conduct various forms of business. A mobile-first strategy essentially means making mobile technology a priority rather than an afterthought.

Until recently, mobile first was primarily applied in the private sector. But over the last couple of years, governments have been building mobility into their IT plans. A number of states, including Texas, California, Georgia, Arkansas and Colorado, recently announced mobile-first policies. But what does mobile first really mean in terms of how an agency does business and operates internally?

“Mobile access is rapidly becoming the primary way in which people seek government information,” said Alan E. Webber, research director at IDC. “Mobile first is about being responsive to constituents and what they want. It’s about designing your sites and services with mobile in mind. In turn, that prompts you to do things — and think in ways — that perhaps you didn’t before.”

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