Is Responsive Design the only game in town?

responsive design

There’s a growing trend in web design towards responsive design. Responsive design is the deliberate design and build of a web site to respond differently to different viewing devices. In other words, the web site will present itself differently depending on whether it is viewed on a mobile phone, tablet or desktop device. The design is done in such a way that the browser itself does the work. This is a great choice in many ways, particularly for smaller web sites. There is only one set of pages to maintain, which makes life simpler, but the styling behind the site actually addresses multiple view ports (the size of the window through which the site is viewed). As a result the underlying code can get a bit complex, even though it’s only in one set of files.

The alternative to responsive design is to detect the device accessing the site and present an alternative set of pages to smaller devices. This obviously will involve more work and more files as you are designing separately for different view ports. At first this may seem to be counter productive, but it all depends on the site content and original design.

Many sites are now quite old and large, and the work involved in redesigning the entire site to a responsive design could be prohibitive. It may well be that you only wish to present a select subset of pages to the mobile user, or even different pages geared towards mobile phone use (such as linking maps and phone numbers).

Many larger sites are also data driven and have a significant amount of back end code that can be easily leveraged to drive new mobile oriented pages with no more work involved than restyling the main pages.

For larger sites, and especially those that have an old design it would seem more productive to produce a subsetted separate site for mobile devices, always presenting the user with the option to use the ‘full fat’ site if they prefer. Responsive design is an elegant design option, particularly when designing from scratch. But depending on the size of the site and the legacy elements, responsive design is not yet the only game in town.

Don’t go it alone

Don't go it alone

As the cost of purchasing IT equipment is driving down relentlessly year on year, the true cost of managing a business IT strategy need to manage a business’s IT resource well remains critical. For many SMEs there is just no budget or requirement for a permanent IT resource on site, but it is still crucial that IT strategy and implementation is done well.

Datawise Computing has been working with local businesses for 20 years, providing long term partnerships resulting in an in depth knowledge of both their business and their IT requirements.

IT consultancy is a long term relationship, building on trust and shared knowledge to produce a real benefit in IT implementation.

Datawise Computing has expertise in office systems, networking, database and web design and has experience from the one man band to large multi-nationals. If you would like to consider a long term partnership with a local IT consultancy that you can trust then please use the contact form to get in touch.

Web sites for mobile phones

goMobileWhat does a visitor see when he or she views your web site on a mobile phone or other portable device? Is it a barely readable, shrunken view of your full web site? If so you may be losing out. Mobile users generally have a specific purpose in mind when accessing a web site on the go. The probably don’t want to read in depth articles or view high resolution images, but they may well be looking for specific information, such as how to find your premises, or how to get in touch.

A mobile web site can cater for these specific requirements by providing only what they need in an appropriate format for viewing on a small screen. Buttons should be larger for touch control, images should be kept to a minimum, phone numbers should be touch to dial, location information should be keyed to maps.

Have a think about what pages and information your customers would like to see when on the move, and then give them a few pages tailored to that information. This way you will improve the overall usefulness of your web site and keep your mobile users happy!

Don’t forget your backups!

Although computers are incredibly reliable and becoming more so, they still have one major mechanical component, the hard disk. The hard disk is the part of your computer that stores all those documents, photos etc. that you absolutely must keep, and yet that same hard disk is the single most likely component to fail. When it fails it usually does so suddenly and spectacularly. It’s on occasions such as this that you value having a recent and reliable backup. Even if your files are stored on another external hard drive there is a fair degree of security. It is highly unlikely that both disks will fail at the same time.Such as web designers in Southend The Web Design Company, would be a good choice.

So, if you value the content of your hard drive, please be proactive, go and get an external drive, or sign up for cloud backup. Do it now so that when that precious disk drive fails you can smile in the knowledge that everything on it is also stored elsewhere for safe keeping :)

The difference an image makes

The difference and image makes

When considering the design of a web site it is vital to consider early on the use of photographic images. Images are vital to any web site, but they must be appropriate and must support the message conveyed by the words. We tend to naturally look for images as a means of judging the tone of an article. Although this may not be the best way to judge content, in an environment where attention span can be reduced to mere seconds it is vital to support words with appropriate images. These images draw the attention and contribute to the perceived professionalism of the site and the content.

A new visitor to a web site will come to subjective conclusions about the site, the content, the authors or businesses based on their initial perceptions of the quality of the design and imagery. It helps, then, to make sure that the photographs are: present, of high quality & appropriate to the content. How does your site stack up?