by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
GCN : October 2012
GCN OCTOBER 2012 • GCN.COM 27 app debate has intensified. In 2011, annual worldwide shipments of smart phones exceeded client PC ship- ments for the first time, according to mar- ket researcher Canalys. Those devices, however, consume ever higher amounts of data. Mobile data traffic more than doubled last year, according to the Cisco Visual Networking Index. Against that backdrop, organizations like the National Cancer Institute face the choice of developing mobile apps or mo- bilizing websites. The first option has the advantage of speed and the user's ability to tap native features and tools. The sec- ond option, a mobile website, is generally less expensive to create and avoids the potential logistical hurdles of distribution through online app stores. NCI decided to survey the app market- place to see what existed in the cancer in- formation niche. Grama said the market research effort uncovered a number of players in the field, some of which used cancer.gov's syndicated content. "It didn't seem to us that there was a crying need for us to immediately go into the app marketplace," she said. Grama also noted the challenges of de- veloping for multiple mobile environments as well as promoting the availability of an app. "People need to know there is an app out there and download it," she said. NCI decided a mobile version of cancer. gov was the way to go. At this point, the agency's research had zeroed in on the au- dience and how to reach it. "It seemed appropriate for us to really focus on mobile Web," Grama said. "And so I think our strategy was defined by our analytics and persona and user research, and the platform was based on looking at what was happening in the marketplace." With the "who" and "what" questions decided, NCI still needed to consider the "how." To wit: how would NCI segment a portion of its cancer.gov data for the mobile site? Grama said one of NCI's primary goals with the mobility project was to share content from the desktop site rather than create content strictly for the mo- bile context. To that end, NCI enlisted a content management system to facilitate the sharing process. Cho said the agency uses Percussion Software Inc.'s Rhythmyx CMS (now CM System). He described Percussion's soft- ware as the technical foundation that lets NCI pool related pieces of content into different zoned areas of a website. It also gives content managers the flexibility to tag new content as mobile content, he said. "It allows us to really look at content differently," Cho said. With this essential piece of infrastruc- ture already in place, NCI could move on to actually creating the mobile version of Cancer.gov. This stage of the project in- troduced new questions: What methods should it use to design and develop its mo- bile presence? NCI GETS AGILE IN DEVELOPING MOBILE WEBSITE The task of building the mobile ver- sion of Cancer.gov presented NCI with a choice: go with a standard website de- velopment method or a responsive web design. NCI decided to go with the con- ventional approach. Grama said responsive design, "was a little bit too bleeding edge" in 2011. She also cited constraints with cancer. gov content that would have made re- sponsive design more problematic. The adoption of responsive design, for ex- ample, would have required NCI to clean up content structures, which evolve over time. "We thought it would take too much of our resources to be able to start imple- menting responsive design," she said. As for an overarching software meth- od, NCI has moved to agile versus the traditional waterfall development ap- proach, said Cho. Agile methods empha- size iterative development, user involve- ment and rapidly incorporated feedback. NCI rolled out paper prototypes of the mobile website --- a blueprint of the site's layout --- and then moved on to wire- framing, a practice designed to uncover website design issues. Users provide re- action to prototypes and wireframes in an iterative development cycle. Usability testing contributed addi- tional feedback. NCI tested a mobile site with users prior to launch. The evalua- tion involved eye tracking, which records where a user looks on a device's display. NCI's research team helped tweak eye tracking equipment to work with small form factor devices. The research group was one element of the NCI integrated project team that collaborated on the mobile website proj- ect. Other members came from NCI's technology, contact center and public af- fairs teams. The office that coordinates content creation and management was also represented. The project has captured some at- tention early on. The mobile website received a bronze award from the Web Health Awards program for the Winter/ Spring 2012 period. As for customer impact, Grama said the mobile site had sparked a spike in calls to the NCI's call center. She said in one month the center received more than 20,000 inquires via phone, e-mail or live chat. Grama described the call center, where agents help customers with their cancer- related questions, as an "additional val- ue-add of the mobile experience." The takeaway from the NCI experi- ence: upfront planning, an integrated project team, and an ample feedback can make the going easier. • "We worked on the research to understand our audience; it really allowed us to target and segment the content for those mobile audiences." --- JONATHAN CHO, CHIEF OF NCI'S COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY BRANCH