Adopting a Responsive Website Design
Mobile phones and tablets are the present and future of marketing. As a matter of fact, social media marketers have said that 2014 is the year of mobile marketing. Businesses need to be prepared for this mobile-friendly world yet, their websites still need to be adaptable for desktop computers. There are two ways to develop a business website, create an infinite number of websites to fit the multitude of devices out there or use responsive website design. Creating many websites is both timely and very costly. The most efficient option is responsive web design.
What is Responsive Website Design?
Responsive web design (RWD), as defined by Wikipedia, is an approach aimed at ensuring a site is optimized to deliver what a user wants and that it works effectively on the device being used to access the site. More simply, there are more than 230 different sizes of screens available on mobile devices. Instead of creating 230 different layouts for these devices, plus another one for desktops, RWD allows businesses to create one that fits itself automatically on the screen on which it is being displayed. Since it is ‘responding’ to the screen size, the website designs are called ‘responsive designs.’
How does it Work?
In responsive web design the layout and features of a website are adjusted using CSS3 media queries according to the accessing device. It also relies on HTML5 technology that is supported by all mobile devices, unlike Flash which has never been supported on Apple devices. The content is processed by the user’s browser, not the business’ server, which means their browser determines which layout is the best and then arranges the information accordingly.
The Benefits of RWD
There are many benefits to having a responsive web design, consistency being one the biggest ones. Whether a user accesses your site through a mobile device or their desktop computer, they will have a consistent experience across all platforms. It is also the recommended web design of Google. This creates better SEO optimization and load time on Google. RWD is a more cost effective approach as there is no need to build multiple sites or applications or maintain them, there is only one.
The main principle of responsive web design is that it has a ‘mobile-first’ strategy. With all the staggering statistics that we are bombarded with daily about the world’s use of mobile devices, it seems it is the most logical choice when designing a business website. Large companies such as The Boston Globe, Disney and Starbucks are already using it successfully and seamlessly. If you have questions about how to get started with responsive web design, Contact Us, for you mobile marketing needs.
Three Important Elements of Web Design in Trinidad and Tobago
Image is everything in business. First impressions go a long way. These statements are especially true of a company’s online presence. Are you a start-up and need to develop a website, or, is your current site in need of an overhaul? To create an effective web design in Trinidad and Tobago, there are many elements to consider.Basic visual design is the element that gets attention, draws people in, and creates a pleasant space for customers to conduct their business. There are technical aspects that drive ease of use, SEO functionality, and customized user experiences which we will cover in future web development posts.
Here, let’s focus on the visual elements.
Some visuals aren’t right for everyone, but there are certain principals that are universal. We’ll take a look at some of the elements of good design, and touch on some trends that could work well for certain industries.
Perhaps you’ve been to a site where it seems they have tried to place every bit of information possible on one page. Did you want to stay there long, or was it easy to find what you’re looking for? Probably not. Sometimes less is more. Fine-tuning your words, images, and options to only what is truly necessary for that page is challenging, but effective.
- Use of space and whitespace: Whitespace is any empty space on a page. It is not necessarily white (if you’re using a color background) but this simply refers to the open areas on your site. Utilizing whitespace effectively will create a calm, easy- to- read page. Too much clutter and people will not want to stick around.
Here is an example of white space in web design (that in this case is actually blue). For more whitespace inspiration, see these examples compiled by WDL.
There is really no industry that wouldn’t benefit from strategic use of whitespace. The degree of minimalism is a personal preference and could depend on your business niche. But whether visitors are shopping an ecommerce site, reading a blog, or scanning for news or product information, a visually pleasing page that does not assault the viewer with too much is your goal.
- Text width: Also known as scan length, text width refers to how many words there are on a line of text. Typically, lines with anywhere from 7-11 words is best. Too many more and readers will get lost, too few, and it can be distracting. Typically left aligned blocks of text work best, rather than centered.
- Graphics and Images: Following the “less is more” principal, one or two well-chosen images on a page are much easier on the eye than a page filled with graphics and pictures. You’ll want a balance between images and text. Make your statement with images that have impact, don’t use them simply because people like to look at pictures.
The look of your page, and the psychological impact of color shouldn’t be underestimated. The selection should also reflect your businesses personality.
You could choose a monochromatic color scheme (not much variation in the tones – like the extended strip on the image below) or complimentary color schemes – those colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel.
Colors can evoke certain feelings. You can read about the emotions associated with each color here.
Use colors that ‘match’ your goals, industry, product, or service.
Leaning toward more subtle colors and a more monochromatic look is a current trend that suits most businesses. The use of a brighter, more colorful scheme should be used when there is good reason behind it, and should be used sparingly – not all over the page, and not simply because you like those colors.
Images and graphics
We touched on images earlier regarding layout, but there is more to know when contemplating your web development in Trinidad and Tobago.
The keys to using images and graphics are sizing, quantity, and features. Your images should be kept small in format for faster downloading. The resolution typically recommended for photos is 72 DPI (dots per inch) or PPI (pixels per inch).
One interesting trend for 2013 is big photography. While not brand new, the trend is continuing it’s momentum and is great for a more personalized site, especially for someone providing a service. Used by firms and agencies, big photo backgrounds bring the viewer a more direct feeling of contact with the person, or people behind the site. Big photos can also be used effectively on product landing pages, such as this one:
Before developing your website, or changing what you currently have, plan out the look, feel, and image you want to create. Evaluate your goals for the page and keep in mind these three elements for effective web design in Trinidad and Tobago.
We have the ideas and the experience you may need for creating a winning website. Talk to our web development team and we can help you pull together a beautiful, functional site.
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