I have always known that the Crown Harbor site was not mobile device friendly. In fact, I even wrote a blog article about trying to do something about that in September 2012.
Despite being willing to plunk out $300 of my own money to make the website mobile compliant, well as luck would have it, the programmer I contracted from oDesk never came through. He sent me one sample file, and I never heard from him again. I contacted oDesk support, but that went nowhere. I hadn't paid a penny yet, so I just pretended like the whole thing has a bad dream.
Our homeowner association website is really geared towards 2 audiences: visitors who are considering buying one of the units in our complex and community members who live here and want to know what's going on. Though, in my mind, I have structured the site beautifully along those lines, to someone other than me, that might not be apparent. With this in mind, I have wired in a customized Google search so anyone, visitor or resident, can just search for what they want rather than navigate a site structure that only makes sense to its author.
Here's an example of how easy [and fun] it is to look up how much our special roof replacement assessment is:
Now because I have registered the site with Google and have a search component, Google has my email address. On Wednesday, I got this message:
The message contains lots of helpful information on understanding the differences between mobile and desktop browsing. It even offers tips on how to make websites view appropriately on mobile devices.
It seems curious that Google would go out of its way to help me improve my site for the mobile experience. I guess they too see the future as mobile devices. I use the word "too," because at Autodesk we see the same thing. Some desktop customers ask us "Why do you keep focusing on the cloud?" While you may not design the next home, mechanical part, automobile, bridge, or blockbuster movie on your smart phone, you will probably want to check on the status of your project or perhaps make a revision here or there. The entire world is moving in this direction. Google gets it. We get it. The cloud offers the power of infinite computing resources for analysis and simulation and connectivity for collaboration on a variety of devices.
Now I just have to make changes to my homeowner association website to leverage mobile devices. I am a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and got this via an alumni mailing list:
Of course, I read the email and visited the site using my smart phone. Coincidence?
Mobile computing is alive in the lab.