Category Archives: Mobile Web Design

How Design Matters–More Than Ever–In 2014

designmattersLately the word going around is “design no longer matters” and, that in today’s world, the words and content on websites means more for supporting SEO and overall online business strength.

Here are some valid reasons why this is no longer true………

Quoting New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a recent interview in the annual design issue of Fast Company magazine, he noted, “Design does matter. And not necessarily in a way that people realize.”

The principle applies to individual business as well as on a city scale:

“If good design is doing its job, it is managing your perception of an experience in many ways—both obvious and not so obvious. How you feel, and therefore if whether you’re going to engage and buy, is directly influenced by the design of a website, a package or a business card.”

-Randall Smith, founder of Salt Lake City brand management agency Modern 8

Smith agrees with the comment of Forbes contributor Mike Myatt: “Why present a content vs. design argument? The Holy Grail is found in nesting great content within brilliant design—don’t think ‘either/or,’ think ‘and’.”

Myatt continued, “Being found is nice, but it’s the experience and engagement that occurs (or not) that really matters. There are many ways to get eyeballs to your content, but what really matters is what happens when you get there.”

To that end, here’s how design will matter most in 2014: in the creation of responsive web design—design that adjusts itself gracefully for an optimum experience on desktop, tablet or smartphone OS. As contributor Josh Steimle recently reported in Why You Business Needs A Responsive Website Before 2014 even if you have only a “brochure” website right now, it is possible to spend as little as several hundred to several thousand dollars to overhaul your site to a format that exemplifies the best principles of responsive design.

As Steimle reported the world is rapidly moving to mobile. Ninety one percent of adults keep their smartphones perpetually within arm’s reach. Nine out of ten mobile searches lead to action, and more than half lead to sales. More than 5 billion people will use mobile phones by 2017, according to Statista. In fact, there is close to a 50% chance you are reading this article from a mobile device even now.

Yes, quality content matters, but superb design matters as well. Most importantly, the design that optimizes perception and experience to whatever medium the viewer is participating within will be the greatest winner in 2014 and beyond.

So design really matters. With this in mind, are you ready for 2014? How well does your site accomplish the goal of nesting great content within brilliant and responsive website design? I welcome your thoughts.

 

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Parts of this Article sourced from Forbes.com written by

Cheryl Conner

Cheryl Conner, Contributor – writes about communications, business and the ways the two intersect

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Responsive Websites ~ the way of the NOW

Responsive website design is a way to design your website in a way that it will “respond” to any screen size and will work on every smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop computer. Responsive codes are written as percentages instead of defining your website in pixels the way is has been done in the past.

There are many benefits of a responsive website, feel free to tell all your friends you are up-to-date on this trending web culture by sending a quick tweet.

responsive-web-design

Why should you care about responsive website design?

We all need to stop thinking about mobile optimization as the “wave of the future.” In reality, we are already living in a smartphone influenced world. 686 million new smart phones will be sold this year.

If you wait until 2013 to make your website mobile friendly, your site will be outdated. To be fair, responsive web design is not the only way to make your website mobile friendly.
You can also create a completely new site (m.example.com) or you can use javascript to show different content on different devices. Each one of these options have their limitations, and you need to research the best solution for your business.

If you combine a responsive website, with CSS3′s ability to reorganize your content I think a responsive site is the the best solution for most websites.

In the case of Responsive websites, Google recently published a mobile site guideline which states:

“Sites that use responsive website design, i.e. sites that serve all devices on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device. This is Google’s recommended configuration.”

A responsive website keeps all information on one URL. This makes it easier for people to share, link to, and revisit your website. If you have multiple versions of your website, the links pointing to m.example.com may not benefit your main website, example.com.

Did you know that people visit search engines more than they visit any other website? Here is the scary part. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile queries, Google might not show it to mobile searchers. In fact, if everything else is equal, they prefer to show one of your mobile friendly competitor’s sites instead. This is serious.

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Why mobile first?

Why Mobile First?

Odds are none of the people reading this have learned anything new up to this point. The $200+ phones in the pockets of everyone you know are all the indication you need that the web has broken out of its computer shaped box.

However, the fact that mobile web access is popular does almost nothing to convince me that I need to pursue a strategy that actually puts

mobile first. The flip side of 25% of mobile users being mobile-only is that 75% of them aren’t! Obviously, the desktop is still an important medium, not to be forgotten or pushed to the back burner quite yet. So why are we even considering taking the mobile first route?

One of the major catalysts for the rise of mobile first web design was the announcement from Eric Schmidt in 2010 that Google was going to be taking this approach from now on, going so far as to say “I think it’s now the joint project of all of us to make mobile the answer to pretty much everything” (source). Why this drastic change in approach?

Graceful Degradation vs. Progressive Enhancement

These are some major buzz words from a few years ago that can still lend a lot of insight into the notion of mobile first web design and why it’s an important concept to consider.

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Graceful degradation arose out of a need to have a design function on as many browsers and platforms as possible. Designers and developers wanted to take advantage of new technology without excluding users with setups that didn’t have support. The general conclusion was to create and serve up the best experience possible, and then account for each possible degradation and ensure that despite any shortcomings, the site would remain functional.

In terms of mobile web design, this meant that a full, standard website would scale back and gradually remove content and features as the viewport became smaller and the system simpler (no Flash support, etc.).

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Out of this trend arose a powerful new idea: progressive enhancement. In this version of the tale, you put your best foot forward on the mobile platform, providing the users with minimal screen real estate, processing power and third party plugins an amazing experience that both looks great and functions perfectly. As the need arises, the site can gradually be “enhanced” and even completely rethought for larger platforms with fewer constraints.

Why Progressive Enhancement Wins

At a glance, these two methodologies seem roughly equivalent. Who cares where you begin the design process as long as it gets done, right?

The reality of the situation is a little more complex though. When you start with the desktop platform, you tend want to take advantage of everything that platform has to offer. You build an amazing product that leverages lots of great technology, only to realize that none of it scales well down to mobile. This can and does lead to severely watered down mobile products that feel more like an afterthought than a polished, finished product. Does this happen with every project? Perhaps not, but the story is likely far more common than you’d like to believe.

If we examine the progressive enhancement workflow, the result tends to be a different story. Here we’re starting with a project that is both super lean and quite impressive. You’ve taken all of that starting energy and put it into creating a product that looks and functions well despite the many restraints that you faced.

More importantly, you’ve already gone through the problem of trimming down the content to its most vital elements. Now when it’s time to bring this design to the desktop, instead of facing the decision of what to cut and how to water down your product, you instead get to decide how to make it even more robust!

(article excerpt from

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.

Mobile Websites – design it FIRST!

Mobile First Design

The idea of responsive design isn’t just limited to full websites scaling down smaller. There is a very good reason that we suggest to start with mobile and build your way up.

If you still have it in your head that mobile web design and application development is a niche industry, you need to change your way of thinking. Mobile isn’t a trend, nor is it even the future, it’s the present. Don’t believe me? Here are some crazy statistics to consider from Mobithinking from last month.

  • There are over 1.2 billion mobile web users worldwide
  • In the U.S., 25% of mobile Web users are mobile-only (they rarely use a desktop to access the web)
  • Mobile apps have been downloaded 10.9 billion times
  • Mobile device sales are increasing across the board with over 85 percent of new handsets able to access the mobile Web

One of the most potent facts here is the second item, which brings to light that many users will likely only ever see the mobile version of your site. That’s an astounding revelation isn’t it?

More than ever before the web is something that we carry in our pockets, not something that merely hangs out near our desk or even in our homes. This is a global trend that will only continue to see growth in the coming years. Are you ready for this?

It is often much easier to plan your most important interface elements first and squeeze each of them into a mobile layout. If they don’t all fit you will have to drop a few. Simultaneously you could plan for how the layout will respond as the window grows larger. You will have room to include a sidebar, possibly 2 sidebars, along with numerous other page elements.

Mobile isn’t a trend

Most desktop browsers will be happy with any style of layout, as long as everything works. This is much more difficult to nail down on mobile platforms so it’s useful to start out small while planning for a larger design.

Our professional skill set includes web development for all important platforms as well as the desktop arena.

Make sure you seriously consider getting the mobile version of your website sorted early rather than “wait til later”.

Even if you already have a website, contact us today to sort out the mobile version for you!

Founder, director, brand strategist and design genius all rolled into one fun, crazy, sassy, no BS, surfer chick that LOVES branding, strategy and OOZES mad design skills.  I’m a master at bridging the gap between YOU and your business to create a ‘stand out’ brand that makes an impact, attracts your dream clients, positions you as an expert that can charge premium prices so that you can become the amazing leader you were born to be.