Mobile Access Review Committee

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Note: There is currently a temporary freeze on adding new content to the EPA mobile website.  During this freeze, no new content will be accepted on m.epa.gov other than mobile apps and news/banner updates.  Static HTML content intended for mobile audiences should be developed in Drupal, which offers responsive design.  The Committee will reevaluate this decision in 2014.


What is a Mobile App?

A mobile app, or application, is any native (downloadable) or Web application designed specifically to be accessed and utilized on a handheld mobile device, such as a cell phone, smart phone, tablet, or portable digital assistant (PDA). Mobile Web apps are distinct from mobile Web pages that only provide content. Mobile Web apps use server-side or client-side processing (e.g. Javascript) to provide a level of interactivity akin to many downloadable native apps.

There are various trade-offs between native mobile apps and mobile Web apps.

 

Can anyone develop a Mobile App for the Agency?

In order to maximize value and minimize risk, all mobile application concepts for native external (public-facing) mobile apps must be approved by the Mobile Access Review Committee (MARC) before beginning development. Mobile Web apps and mobile websites have a lesser standard of review (see below), but must also be approved by MARC prior to development.

 

What is MARC?

The Mobile Access Review Committee (MARC) is a committee that evaluates and approves mobile app concepts and maintains the mobile apps look and feel requirements based on the latest technology, EPA requirements, and best practices. Members include the National Content and National Infrastructure Managers of the Web Council as well as representatives from the Office of Web Communications (OWC), the Office of Environmental Information (OEI), the OEI-lead region, a rotating program office, and the Office of General Counsel (OGC). The Committee works with subject matter experts as needed.

The members of MARC are:

  • Jonda Byrd, National Infrastructure Manager, OIAA
  • Jeffrey Levy, National Content Manager, OWC
  • Steve Boudrot, OEI Lead Region (Region 1) Representative
  • Scott Albright, OGC
  • Sam Bronson, OIAA
  • Donald Frank, OCSPP
  • Dennis Gorres, OCSPP
  • Mike Hessling, OIAA
  • Jeff Morin, OWC

The MARC Charter is available, too.

Contact MARC (Mobile_App-MARC@epa.gov).

 

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I want to develop a...

If I want to develop a... Then... And the next steps are..
Native App for the Public MARC Review is Required
  • The submission process for native mobile app concepts is detailed in the System Life Cycle Management (SLCM) Procedure.
  • Review this procedure carefully prior to submitting a concept to MARC.
  • After completing all required steps, submit the Mobile Application Evaluation Form (MS-Word) (5 pp., 81 K) to MARC (Mobile_App-MARC@epa.gov) for review and consideration.
  • Development must not begin until MARC approves the mobile application concept.
  • Expect about two weeks for MARC to complete the evaluation of the mobile app concept.
Mobile Web App or Website for the Public MARC Review is Required
  • The submission process for mobile web apps and websites is similar to that for native mobile apps and is detailed in the SLCM Procedure.
  • However, offices need only submit the shorter Mobile Web Concept Review Form (MS-Word) (2 pp., 17 K) to the MARC (Mobile_App-MARC@epa.gov) for review and consideration.
  • Web pages that are automatically optimized for mobile browsers by a WebCMS do not require MARC review.
Mobile App for Internal Use Only No Review Necessary
  • The sponsoring office must contact MARC to register the app or website during the development and completion stage.
  • Registering the app with MARC ensures that the originating office can capitalize on best practices from MARC, as well as create best practice opportunities for other offices in the Agency.

 

What if MARC does not approve a mobile app or mobile Web concept?

Concepts that are not approved can be modified and resubmitted. The evaluation process is transparent and submitters will be provided detailed explanations for all decisions. For details on the criteria used for evaluation, see the guidance document: Mobile Application Evaluation Guidance PDF (9 pp., 116 K) Intranet

 

After development is complete, where will the mobile app or Web pages reside?

Every external (public-facing) EPA mobile app must be linked from, and every external mobile Web page must reside on EPA's mobile website. Web pages that are automatically optimized for mobile browsers by a Web Content Management System (WebCMS) do not require MARC review. There must also be a link to the equivalent and accessible information or functionality on www.epa.gov. Refer to the SLCM Procedure for all requirements regarding mobile app and mobile web development.

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