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The wireless trend has been a bit of a drag for designers who got into the Web integration business looking to create elaborate animated sites. Barnwell acknowledged that "classic" designers may find the work "a bit tedious."
Customers need to focus less on graphics, too.
"It's less about the graphic coolness and more about the user experience," Prabhou said. "You have to clearly identify the two or three things that you want to do, and then do it extremely well."
"You can't translate a whole Web site and put it on three or four lines," he said. "You have to recognize that you need to provide very good services targeted to that device. Transactions have to be high-value, (low-interactivity) stuff."
Pushing mobile content
Integrators say that wireless is a great way to be proactive -- finding the mobile users and sending information to them. "Up until this point, the Web sites we have created have been pulled by the client," Zefer's Barnwell said. "They're just waiting for a client to come and request a page. The mobile thing will drive the whole notion of push-based systems."
Integrators are also looking at location-based technologies to enable companies to find customers geographically. These should be possible if the U.S. government is successful in its mandate that all phones be equipped with global positioning chips by next year.
The companies are also looking to upcoming security initiatives, such as embedded, client-side authentication for mobile devices (due next year); phones from Nokia Corp. and Ericsson with larger screens that can handle more content (due in the fall); and third-generation broadband wireless networks (due in several years).
But as with most issues in the industry, the hype is moving faster than the technology.
"We're running as fast as we can," said U.S. Interactive's Prabhou. "But it's hard to run any faster, given where the technology is."
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