Monday, 17 October 2016

Why some websites don’t look good on smartphones.

To understand the problem we have to go back in time. In the days when you could only view websites on a desktop computer, the ‘window’ size was fairly predictable, so was the resolution - 72dpi. The advent of smartphones and tablets caused some issues, but these were generally solved by giving websites three standard formats; desktop, tablet and mobile. That was all fine until the screen sizes within each format began to grow, so much that there is no longer any ‘standard screen sizes’. Also, people began using their mobile devices more than their desktops. So, although you can still see websites, the size of the content or buttons are too small to be effective. You can of course ‘zoom in’ but that looses you the overall context of the page - you can press the ‘buy’ button, but no longer see the image of what you had just bought!
The answer is to make your website re-configure itself to suit the viewing platform. It’s called making it ‘Responsive’. The idea is that the content can be re-sized, re-configured and edited to suit the individual platform/screen. For example, you might be happy to read a screen full of text on a desktop, but that same text on a smartphone will seem to scroll down forever. Its the same with pictures, an image scaled down proportionately to show on a smartphone might become ‘unreadable’  on the 
screen, its the same with text. So, with ‘responsive’ websites some content is allowed to re-scale and some is ‘fixed’ at different screen sizes. It all gets a bit complicated during the design of a website, but if you want every visitor to have a good experience, the work is essential. Because of the massive increase in the number of people using their smartphones for searching online, some web designers have started to design for the smartphone first and then scale/reconfigure the content up for the other format/screen sizes. Unfortunately, this might result in websites being more functional than entertaining in future, but it does seem to be the way things are going.

So, if you want your website to be valid and give your visitors a rewarding experience, make sure its ‘responsive’. 

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