Tag Archives: mobile devices

Urgently Seeking Mobile

mobile-searchGoogle has been hinting at the need for a fully responsive site for the past year and has been pushing the page speed for a very long time. For the past several years, DWG has been working on page speeds and warning about the effects not optimizing your images has on your search results.

In June of this year, Google hinted that it will be using mobile page speed as the major key metric in ranking mobile pages in mobile search results. Google?s Gary Illyes said that the use of page speed was in the ?planning phase.? We interpret this that Google is also combining the relationship between speed and responsiveness.

At the moment, because of the Google?s algorithm when a site (mobile or desktop) is speed optimized, then the site is not penalized in its ranking. This will soon change, as a mobile-specific page speed will be a significant factor in the ranking algorithm.

Google has also confirmed that it is working on a completely separate mobile search index which is likely to be launched when Google updates its mobile-friendly algorithm. This means that if you do not have a fully responsive site, you are looking at double the amount of work for optimizing your web search ranking.

We expect based on what we are hearing that this may happen in mid-fall. But what?s the moral of this story? It?s never to early to plan as this will have a significant impact.

Website Design in the Age of Mobile Devices

By: Behnam Ataee of Dream Warrior Group Responsive web design with server-side components, RESS or commonly known responsive design has been around for some years now. From its birth in the mid 2000’s to its first coming out party in 2010, we have watched its development with enthusiasm and some justifiable anxiety. As time allowed, we have attempted to the best of our ability to implement parts of it that we found accessible and financially viable for our customers. tablet-314153 Our first client request for a fully responsive design was in 2011. This client was a hip commerce site owner, and had just read about responsive design. Our client was very eager to implement it. After lengthy discussions and data wrangling, we convinced her that the commerce portion of her site did not need to be fully responsive. We created a separate design for phones, one for iPads, and cleaned up her desktop design. The process was illuminating and provided us with some ground rules and guidelines. Those guidelines have come in handy over the last few years. Every web designer has heard the siren song of Graceful Degradation or Progressive Enhancement. Graceful Degradation starts with your site as it is displayed on the desktop, and then attempts to morph it down to the tablet and phone browsing experience. With progressive enhancement, you put your best foot forward on the mobile platform, providing the users with minimal screen real estate, processing power and third party plug-ins. This produces an amazing experience that both looks great and functions perfectly, and subsequently proceeds to expand that in to a design for Tablet and Desktop. Although this is true, based on our experience with in-house, and contract designers, the Progressive Enhancement concept is not truly understood by the majority. Most designers are very happy to provide an AMAZING USER EXPERIENCE, but somehow loses track of the AMAZING FUNCTIONALITY part of the equation. After several stumbles, we decided to rename it and re-order the process to avoid the pitfalls. Function first Given that we have documented and know what the customer wants, the first order of business is to decide what functions are usable and required on what device. In many situations we find that there are specific functions per device that have no place on another platform. In many cases, especially pure commerce play, the phones require higher degree of functionality than the desktop version of the same site. In other cases, such as performing arts, the needs are very specific to the audience we are reaching. The most important part of the function first approach is that the team designing your site goes through your analytics and comparable data for your industry with a fine tooth comb and finds the exact behavioral pattern of your audience. In our case, we have done so many Performing Arts websites, that I could readily recite the usage habit of those audiences. As with a recent case, we are doing an informational design site for a major resort with minor commerce elements. We spent the better part of two weeks looking through all available data to profile the typical user of the site for all devices and proceeded to design from that point forward. The average cost of accommodations for these resorts, ranges from $1,200 to $7,000 per night. We found that majority of users had multiple pads, phones, and desktop devices. Their primary media of purchase was their pads, while they tended to share information about the experience via their phones. The role of desktop is mostly for research and pre-sale viewing, and very likely — although we only had anecdotal evidence — someone other than the primary purchaser is handling the research. As you can imagine, this information dictates three separate approaches to the site function depending on the device, while retaining the design compatibility across all platforms. Any attempt to exclusively use either method would fail the User in some level, thus function has to inform all design flow.