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Adelaide web design, mobile development and identity design.

Web design is an industry that is in constant flux.

Ever since the inception of the World Wide Web, the methods, technologies and design principles used to create websites has constantly evolved. Web designers, at least those at the top of their game, are always striving to create better experiences for their clients’ websites, to employ the latest techniques and trends to deliver a product that works as best it can.

Sometimes web developers feel compelled to adapt to design trends such as the now cliché web 2.0, but we’re also challenged to keep abreast of the technologies that make up the web in addition to the browsers and devices used to view it.

Even since I started in the web industry, which was just over 10 years ago at the time of writing, the HTML standards used within our office have progressed from HTML4 with rudimentary website layouts using tables and no stylesheets (shh… don’t tell anyone), to XHTML and now HTML5. CSS is now in the transition to CSS3, we’ve seen JavaScript explode with a plethora of libraries like jQuery and MooTools and the slow death of Flash. If only Internet Explorer would follow in it’s footsteps!

But we’ve also been required to support a variety of screensizes as desktop computer monitors matured from resolutions like 640x480 to1024x768 and now 1366x768, currently the most prolific resolution on the web. Traditionally we’ve been adapting to an ever-increasing amount of screen real estate, the old CRT monitors dumped in favour of big, new, high resolution LCD and LED displays.

The introduction of smartphones and tablets has shaken things up a little.

While a smartphone will load and display a traditional website, the user experience could hardly be described as optimal. The carefully crafted marketing funnel that leads your users to appropriate call to actions is now lost amidst the pinching, zooming and scrolling visitors must perform to actually disseminate your content.

And this unnatural process of zooming and scrolling left, right, up and down is required on every single page of a website that isn’t optimized for mobile devices. If a better experience is available elsewhere, how long do you think your visitor will stick around?

Does this matter? Visitors on phones aren’t my core demographic, right?

Are you sure about that? According to data provided by Morgan Stanley, within the next two years the number of global mobile web users will surpass that of desktop and then extend a significant lead within the near future.

That’s a whole lot of users on mobile platforms that aren’t seeing your website at it’s best. It’s kind of like rocking up to a sales meeting wearing crocs and jeans – it’s not a good look! Since your website is (or should be) your hardest working sales tool, this could be a big problem.

OK, so I need a mobile website. What are my options?

Early on, the only real option was to perform browser sniffing and redirect smartphone and tablet visitors to a limited, mobile only version of your website, frequently serving content crafted separately and specifically for hand-held devices.

This resulted in a sub-par experience. Have you ever visited a website on your iPad only to be served with the mobile version on your nice, big, 1024x768 resolution (or higher) screen? It’s frustrating! To top it off, this approach typically uses a separate url to deliver the mobile version which can result in poor SEO performance.

The responsive design approach.

Remember all that technological mumbo jumbo we mentioned earlier about HTML5 and CSS3? Well, the latest web standards have introduced the means by which we can dynamically adapt the design of your website to the amount of screen real estate on your browser. Hence, responsive design.

The good news is that web developers can use this technique now. Web browsers on all smartphones and tablets are all standards compliant and support the ‘media queries’ feature of CSS3 that enable responsive design.

Web designers can build a single website that caters for every device; phones, tablets and desktops, resulting in the best possible performance and experience on each. There’s no awkward pinching and zooming, only one url and one set of content. It’s a brave new world.

If your website needs to be optimized for mobile devices, don’t be afraid to contact us and get a free quote.


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