Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Businesses, say hello to responsive web design.

Responsive Web Design and why you should care about it

A new era for web design
A few years ago, most of us were getting used to the Internet. Information was available from our home or work computers at a rate we could never have imagined. The machines themselves were solid constructs, proudly dominating our desks and snaking their cables across the floors.

Now, we look back on those early days fondly, with an amused shake of the head. Bulky monitors and desktop PC's are replaced by slim high definition and tiny network docks. Cables have gone entirely, with wireless taking their place in offices all over the world. Thinking that the future was here, the web design community settled down in their sleek new work spaces and relaxed.

Even with the introduction of laptops, things were stable. The screen sizes on a laptop were nearly the same as those on a PC, and with a minimum of fuss users could scroll the web pages along if they needed to. 

Along comes an apple...
In 2007, a revolution in computer technology appeared in the shops. The Apple iPhone had landed, and mobile Internet was born. 
from wikimedia commons
The challenges were formidable. Firstly, these devices were odd shaped and strange sizes, compared to the previously dominant PC and laptop screens. Secondly, they were popular - by the fourth quarter of 2008 Apple reported 6.89 million sales. Thirdly, they were the tip of the iceberg. Google responded in 2008 with its long secret Android mobile phone. More devices that used unusual screen sizes and resolutions such as iPads, tablets and netbooks became used to regularly access the Internet. Not to mention the new HD screens of huge size that people could plug modern computers into - think a 42'' TV being used as a monitor!

What they did about it
Originally, they did something that was not very clever. Web designers all over the world began churning out "mobile versions" of their websites. Try to access a website and you would be redirected to a much smaller version with low quality graphics and basic information.

This wouldn't cut the mustard for long, especially in a market that was being sold its new iPhones as a viable mobile Internet. In May 2010, this article appeared by Ethan Marcotte, and changed the way web designers thought of the mobile web entirely. 

Welcome to Responsive Web Design
The idea was relatively simple - why not make a website that can change it's size, shape and resolution based on the size of the screen that is trying to look at it. Simple it may be, but the technology behind these changes is impressive. If you've used a smartphone to read a website which has appeared perfectly easy to read, chances are you have witnessed responsive web design in action. 

So what does all this have to do with your business?
You want your website to be as accessible and professional looking as possible. You want people to enjoy browsing it, no matter what device they use to do so. You need responsive web design, and most of all you want a web designer that can do this for you.

Bath Business Web now offers all new customers responsive web design as standard. So you can guarantee a professional, modern browsing experience for your customers, whatever they use to reach your site.
Bath Business Web
Local business matters.

See also:
Beware of Google pay-per-click
5 Search engines you never thought to try

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