Learning points from Going Responsive
On Tuesday night I was lucky enough to listen to James Cryer talk about responsive design.
I have written a longer post about the evening which you can read about here.
Very briefly this is what I learnt (apologies if this is a bit basic):
- People use websites to find out what services are delivered by organisations;
- For large parts of society the Internet is the primary route they use;
- Many people are using mobile devices (mobile phones, tablets etc) to access the Internet;
- The percentage of people using mobile devices to do this is continuing to increase;
- Many websites have historically been designed to be viewed from a desktop or laptop computer; and
- Viewing a website designed for a large desktop screen, on a much smaller mobile phone screen can be a real hassle (go and try it out for yourself).
My understanding of responsive web design is that it’s about how websites are ‘responsive’ to the device on which they are viewed. The way in which content is displayed will change to ensure that the reader has the best possible viewing experience for the size of screen they are using. This isn’t just about getting smaller (desktop to mobile), James pointed out that getting bigger (desktop to large screen TV) also offers challenges.
Using responsive design is helpful if you want your service users to understand what your organisation does. The easier it is to find and read the content on your website, using whatever device people choose (increasingly likely to be a mobile phone), the better it is for everyone.
Again, apologies if this is a bit basic, I’m a content person. If I had to sum up the most important learning point for me was about understanding why responsive design is so important, particularly for organisations that deliver services through their websites. I have covered this in more depth in the post on my blog, under the snappy title of “every CEO should try to access the services their organisation delivers using a mobile phone, at least twice a month”
Thanks very much to James for an excellent presentation at the WordPress Users Wales meeting. A number of people asked for a link to James’ presentation, which is here. http://www.slideshare.net/jamescryer/rwd-wordpress
Picture Source: I should mention that James recommended this book by Ethan Marcotte, Responsive Web Design, for anyone interested in the subject.