Ever tried to check a website on a smartphone and noticed you need a magnifying glass to read it, or you have to zoom in and do a bunch of scrolling left and right, up and down? This is probably because the site was attended to be viewed on a monitor and not a phone or tablet. The fact of the matter is up until recently, mobile device design has been an afterthought. But times are changing, and with the popularity of smartphones and tablets, the need for a mobile presence has moved more to the foreground. Luckily in the past couple years, there have been some major advances to get over this mobile hump.
Before I discuss the answer, I want to give you the brief evolution of mobile design. The first thought, besides just displaying a shrunken version of a site, was to have a secondary site meant for just mobile devices. These sites would be trimmed down versions of the site that would render on small screens. There would be a special function that would check to see what you were viewing the site on and then decide which version to display for you, the normal website or transfer you over to the mobile site. This was a good idea but not great. There were some downfalls to this. Let’s say you saw something on your phone that was interesting, and you wanted to send it to a friend. You’d copy the link and paste it either in an email or a text message. If your friend opened the link on their computer instead of their phone, it would open the mobile site on a full monitor. This would usually look quite awkward on such a large display.
Another downfall came as devices evolved into small displays (but not pocket sized) such as those that can be found on tablets. A developer could make a third version with the dimensions of the tablet…but wait, which tablet are you looking at it in? An iPad? Android 7 inch? Maybe it’s a 10.1 inch? As more devices were made, so were more sizes of screens. Making a specific website version for each size became a much bigger task than originally thought.
So what was the answer? To misquote Lord of the Rings, “one site to control them all”…the idea of one site that had a way to render differently depending on the device you were viewing it on. This thought process is called Responsive Web Design (RWD). So instead of having multiple versions of a site for each device, you have one single site that looks differently depending on the size you are displaying it on. One site that will look nice on a large monitor, small monitor, tablet or phone, the best of all worlds.
Jackson Sky’s website is now using RWD. Check it out for yourself. Bust out that iPhone, go to our site and compare it to what you see on your monitor. Ok, ok, too lazy to get out your phone? How about just resizing the site on your monitor? You’ll notice that as you shrink it or enlarge it, the site will change and make adjustments, so viewing always feels like it’s at the right size.
Do you want to move your web presence to the next level and into your pocket? Maybe Responsive Web Design is the thing for you. Jackson Sky is now offering mobile packages to help you be seen by people who can’t carry a monitor with them everywhere they go. Drop us a line if you’d like to discuss some possible options for your site.