In the last year PC sales have decreased, while the sale of tablets have increased exponentially. According to Pete Cashmore, by the end of 2012, tablet sales are expected to exceed 100 million in sales; and according to Nielson, smart phones are a hot commodity, with a majority of U.S. and Canadian mobile subscribers choosing a smart phone over a feature phone (Cashmore,2012). So what does this mean for web designers and business organizations?
Well, in the last year over a million new screens were made available, therefore, websites need to be created to appeal to those device users. The current and standard web page is not compatible with smart phones and tablets, as one would need to zoom into the page in order to tap into the information that they are trying to browse, while on the other hand, zooming into a website is not necessary on a PC, as traditional websites are designed for PC screens. Thus, according to Canada’s News Media Trend Watch, 94% of computer users use their device to surf the web, while only 67% of smart phone users will browse the web through their phone (News Media Trend Watch, 2012).
In order to reach out to mobile and tablet users, it is recommended that individuals in charge of website development, utilize responsive webdesign techniques much like those currently used by “Mashable”.
The following are responsive web design requirements (Cashmore,2012):
- Media Queries- it is necessary to find out the resolution of the devices the website will be used on. To identify what the main devices are look at sales for tablets and smart phones to determine the most popular ones and their screen resolution. Ensure that there are flexible images and fluid grids before sizing it correctly to fit the screen.
- Adaptive Design Functions- it is necessary to change the website according to the device being used. For example, if using a touch screen, it is necessary to enable swiping between column functions.
By enabling a website to adjust according to screen size and resolution (ps: you can test this on your PC, by merely adjusting your screen size and seeing how the content readjusts itself), you are merely building a website once and enabling it to work across thousands of different screens.
Tips to Make your website more effective (Jackrabbit,n.d.):
- Include your website address on EVERYTHING- ie: flyers, social media sites, refrigerator magnets etc.
- Include pictures and graphics to enhance text
- Ensure pictures have a low resolution in order to prevent the website from lagging
- ensure the “Contact Us” and “Location” section is easy to find
- Include search engine optimization techniques- ie: include text on web pages (not pictures with text, text must be typed), in the upper portion of the “home” page include text that you expect people to search when looking for your site, try to refrain from using Flash introductions (a majority of individuals skip this as it looks like an advertisement)
- Emphasize the “benefits” associated with what you are promoting, in order to differentiate it from competitors
- Use pictures, videos and a simple CALL TO ACTION
Hope you found these tips helpful and I wish you all the best with your 2013 website(s)!
10 Tips to make your Website more Effective from Jackrabbit Technologies. (n.d.). Jackrabbit Class. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.jackrabbitclass.com/docs/jackrabbit-more-effective-website.pdf
Canada – New Media Trend Watch Long-Haul. (n.d.). New Media Trend Watch – Provided by the European Travel Commission. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://www.newmediatrendwatch.com/markets-by-country/11-long-haul/45-canada%3Fstart%3D2
Cashmore, P. (2012, December 11). Why 2013 Is the Year of Responsive Web Design. Mashable. Retrieved December 11, 2012, from http://mashable.com/2012/12/11/responsive-web-design