Mobile is arguably the future of everything. Responsive design is the future of mobility.
The next frontier for developers of modern applicant tracking software (and Hiring Software in general) is to develop solutions that perform well on any device, even those that have not been invented yet. Until recently, the solution has been to create a different product for every device. This is commonly referred to as an “app strategy”: an iPad, iPhone and Android App, plus a desktop version. In 2014, we’ll see the emergence of “universal” platforms that are capable of adapting to any screen size. These “responsive” products will begin to debut this year and will set the bar for usability, accessibility and user adoption rates.
For applicant tracking systems, now mission-critical pieces of most employers’ operational infrastructure, one layout of data and controls does not work anymore given the variety of screen variations that people want to use. While some vendors are correct in asserting that their platforms can be accessed on mobile devices, they mean that their product can be viewed on mobile devices. However, this doesn’t mean that their products work on mobile platforms. Scrolling, zooming, pinching and squinting are not viable options for users anymore. New responsive products understand what screen size is being used to access the platform. Responsive products automatically provide context and appropriately juxtapose the right data being displayed, with the right controls, on any device, browser and platform, all the time and at speeds we’ve never experienced before.
Implementing responsive design won’t be easy for most established recruiting technology vendors. In fact, it will be nearly impossible for vendors with large code bases to re-architect their products without completely freezing other development efforts or, in some cases, rebuilding their entire solutions from the ground up. Either way, vendors can’t ignore responsive design. More forward thinking vendors like Newton are releasing responsive products now that are simply more accessible and more nimble. And, most importantly, it’s no secret that consumers are willing to sacrifice features here and there to have the ability to access data from any device or computer with an internet connection.