Mobile channel policy

Policy

Intent

This policy provides direction for the creation and delivery of mobile sites and apps as part of the University’s web presence.

Scope

This policy applies to all RMIT staff members who contribute content, design components and coding to mobile sites and apps within the RMIT web presence.

Exclusions

This policy does not apply to:

  • courseware, including scholarly work, student work and learning and teaching materials
  • websites that have no relationship to RMIT (for example, personal or private sites)
  • user agents (e.g. browser and web content viewing tools)
  • web authoring tools not provided or supported by the university

Objectives

1. To ensure a seamless experience complementing the full RMIT website.
2. Meet audience needs by delivering mobile-friendly content to hand-held devices.
3. Allow immediate access regardless of location or hand-held devices.
4. Extend content reach beyond the full RMIT website.

Policy provisions

1. Planning

1.1. Approval of new mobile sites and applications must occur before resources are allocated. Refer to the New Websites Policy.

1.1.1. Proposals must be submitted to the Director Digital and Customer Experience Strategy using the New Website Proposal template.

1.1.2. Approvals are made by the Director Digital and Customer Experience Strategy.

1.1.2.1. Branded properties facing an external audience can only be approved with written agreement from the Executive Director Engagement.

1.2. Key principles for designing mobile websites

1.2.1. Design for the mobile context takes into account that:

1.2.1.1. Attention spans are even shorter than for the full website.
1.2.1.2. Physical limitations exist due to the variety of smaller screen sizes.
1.2.1.3. Technical constraints such as connectivity, slower load times and a variety of mobile browser to operate on.

1.2.2. Relevance of content for the mobile context must be considered. Prepare dedicated content and information architecture plans with reference to the Web Content and Web User Experience Policies.

1.2.3. Wide availability

1.2.3.1. Build for the mobile browser in order to reach the widest possible audience, in preference to device-specific applications.
1.2.3.2. Target devices when catering to mobile app platforms aim to reach the majority of users (90%) based on audience trends. Refer to the User Research Instruction.
1.2.3.3. Create accessible content that reaches the widest possible audience, including those with disabilities. Refer to the Web Accessibility Policy and associated procedures.

1.3. Ownership must be clearly defined

1.3.1. Business owners must be registered with Digital and Customer Experience Strategy to clearly identify responsibility for quality control and maintenance of content. The owner must be included in the New Website Proposal.

1.3.2. Technical owners must be registered with Digital and Customer Experience Strategy to clearly identify responsibility for technical maintenance. The owner must be included in the New Website Proposal.

1.4. Resources must be clearly defined

1.4.1. Content publishing resources to maintain the web property content to a high standard must be detailed in the New Website Proposal.

1.4.2. Technical resources to maintain the web property system must be detailed in the New Website Proposal.

1.5. RMIT web policies must be clearly understood and acknowledged in the New Website Proposal.

2. Creating

2.1. User research must be conducted to validate the user requirements, information architecture, content and design for the new mobile site or app to ensure a seamless, intuitive and satisfying user experience. Refer to the User Research Instruction.

2.2. Web standards must be referred to throughout the creation phase.

2.2.1. Content standards must follow the Web Content Policy.

2.2.1.1. Content must be drawn from a central source wherever possible, rather than duplicated for the mobile context, using the Create Once Publish Everywhere (COPE) capability of the content management system.
2.2.1.2. Users must be offered access to the full desktop site from the mobile site or app.

2.2.2. Design standards must follow the Web User Experience Policy. Scope includes mobile applications. Brand consistency is to be maintained across devices and platforms.

2.2.3. Coding standards must follow RMIT UI development standards (Development standards TBA)

2.2.4. Accessibility standards must follow the Web Accessibility Policy.

2.3. Platform selection must be made with reference to the Official Web Platform Instruction in order to adopt official systems as the first option.

2.3.1. Exceptions can be made with written approval from the Director WSIP and the Executive Director ITS during the approval process above.

2.4. Domain names are assigned in accordance with the Creating External Domains Procedure in order to maintain a logical hierarchy.

2.5. Beta testing and experimental initiatives must be confined to non-public areas (not hosted publicly).

3. Maintaining

3.1. Web standards must be maintained throughout the property lifecycle.

3.1.1. Content standards must be maintained by the content owner in accordance with the Web Content Policy and Creating Mobile Websites Procedure.

3.1.2. Design standards must be maintained by the content owner in accordance with the User Experience Policy and Creating Mobile Websites Procedure.

3.1.3. Coding standards must be maintained by the Technical Owner in accordance with RMIT UI development standards (Development standards TBA).

3.1.4. Accessibility standards must be maintained by the technical and content owners in accordance with the Web Accessibility Policy.

3.2. Resources must be provided by the business and technical owners to support the maintenance of all web properties.

4. Evaluating

4.1. Effectiveness of a mobile site or app should be evaluated regularly to promote continuous improvement. Business metrics for success and user-based evaluations must be analysed to check alignment with both business goals and audience needs. Usability Evaluation Instruction should be used to conduct the evaluation.

4.2. Compliance with RMIT web policies will be audited periodically by Digital and Customer Experience Strategy.

5. Deleting and archiving

5.1. Lifecycle plans of all mobile websites and applications must be included in the New Website Proposal that ensures appropriate life spans of both content and technology.

5.2. End of life mobile websites and applications are removed in accordance with the

  • Deleting and Archiving Web Content Procedure and the
  • Deleting Websites Procedure.
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