Targeting content at mobile devices in SharePoint 2013

This shift to a mobile Internet has profound implications for websites and web design. It is no longer OK to consider mobile versions of website as an afterthought. After years of largely ignoring this area, Microsoft seems to have woken up to the issue with the release of SharePoint 2013.

Targeting content at mobile devices in SharePoint 2013

The ever increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets has brought about many changes in the way consumers use technology. For example ‘Apps’ have in many cases replaced websites. Email, Twitter and Facebook are quickly overtaking more traditional forms of communication like text messaging. More fundamentally though, more people are now accessing the Internet on the move rather than from a desktop computer.

Optimising SharePoint with Mobile Device Channels

For the first time SharePoint mobile platform ​allows different master pages to be served up depending on the device that is accessing the site. This functionality is called 'device channels.' In effect it allows different mobile users to see different versions of a page.

In order to configure devices channels you need to activate/deactivate the following site features:

  • Mobile View - Deactivate
  • Wiki Page Home Page - Deactivate

Once you have done this you will need to create a specific 'mobile' master page and a corresponding device channel. A device channel is basically a set of rules that target a specific mobile browser. In the master page settings you then simply assign the new device channel to your new master page.

In effect this process is customising the 'mobile view' of SharePoint pages for different mobile users. The standard mobile view feature is still available and is very similar to the version that shipped with SharePoint 2010.

Other Sharepoint Mobile Features

Devices channels and mobiles views aren’t the only considerations when it comes to designing mobile ready websites. Things like the use of JavaScript, file sizes and content length also need to be considered. But they are a good addition to the developers tool kit and a welcome new feature of a more mobile device friendly SharePoint 2013.

Richard Paterson Co-Founder

A technology enthusiast and an obsessive problem solver, Rich co-founded BrightStarr with Will in 2006. Rich was previously a physicist with an incredible curiosity to discover how things worked and how to make them even better. Will had a natural ability for visual creativity and aesthetics. After working with Will at a previous company, they soon discovered that when they brought their talents together, they were able to generate remarkably engaging and disruptive solutions.

As Joint Co-Founder, Rich is still actively involved in all parts of the business and has helped grow BrightStarr to be synonymous with SharePoint in both the UK and US markets. Whether it’s working on solving a technical challenge with the Development team or innovating with the Unily product, Rich won’t stop until the problem is solved.

In 2009 Rich was recognized for his achievements in business by being selected as one of the Top 30 Young Entrepreneurs in the Young Guns awards.

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