Health IS Technology Blog

Mobile Responsive Web Design Pt. 2


Mobile Responsive Web Design User

Mobile Responsive Web Design User

Moz founder, Rand Fishkin has noted that, “Every business needs to optimize for the mobile web. That means you must have responsive or adaptive design. It’s not just an option any more”.

 

How To Apply Mobile Responsive Web Design:

Mobile Responsive Web Design

Mobile Responsive Web Design

Mobile Responsive Web Design is not only an approach individuals and businesses alike should give some thought to when planning a modern website. It’s a critical component of planning and building a web presence in a digital marketplace, which is increasingly driven by the mobile traffic from eLearning, healthcare portals, eCommerce programs and online banking to the digital marketplace, as a whole. Such activity has encouraged both public and private organizations to establish deeper roots within this space through the successful application of mobile responsive web design. That said, there are some rules of thumb and pitfalls to avoid for anyone taking this journey. The first is simple: Always keep your customers in mind. You’ll want to “Remember to build a mobile-friendly site, one that’s truly useful for mobile users and optimized for customers most common tasks” (Google Developers,  2015). This is basically the golden rule of mobile responsive web design. Follow it to greater success.

But what about on-page specifics for mobile sites? What do many designers and developers consider and see throughout the construction process? There are several key factors:

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Key Components in Mobile Web Design:

  • Size of Content, Messages
  • Main Navigation Menus
  • Alignment of Content
  • Flexible Images
  • Screen Sizes
  • Speed

 

Non-critical information is often designed to remain off to the left in side menus, until tapped to slide out for viewing. “This keeps visitors’ focus on what they really came to see – the content on the page – while keeping the navigation easily accessible, de-cluttering the header and keeping the window easy on the eyes” (The Next Web, July 2014).

Finally, in the words of Ethan Marcotte, the man credited by many in the online community to have invented the phrase responsive web design, “We can design for an optimal viewing experience, but embed standards-based technologies into our designs to make them not only more flexible, but more adaptive to the media that renders them. Fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries are the three technical ingredients for responsive web design. Now more than ever, we’re designing work meant to be viewed along a gradient of different experiences. Responsive web design offers us a way forward, finally allowing us to design for the ebb and flow of things” (A List Apart, May 2010). That said, limitations and barriers have included small screen size, lack of windows, navigation, lack of JavaScript and cookies, types of pages accessible, speed, broken pages, compressed pages, size of messages, cost, location of mobile user, etc. This is why many web projects are most rewarding when they incorporate experienced web developers and designers, who deftly wield their digital tools of choice like electrostaffs and light sabers.

 

Key Points to Remember:

 

Responsive Web Design, Going Forward:

CEO, Brad D. Smith stated, “Millennials, and the generations that follow, are shaping technology. This generation has grown up with computing in the palm of their hands. They are more socially and globally connected through mobile Internet devices than any prior generation. And they don’t question, they just learn”.

Businessman exploring mobile responsive content

Businessman exploring mobile responsive content

When considering the future of mobile friendly and responsive web design there is a veritable feast of savory, technical ingredients to think about and munch through. Some of them stem from growing interest and familiarity with devices that incorporate voice based interfaces, fine motion detection and virtual reality. These aren’t just short-term, gimmicky gadgets. They’re the introduction of dearly needed accessibility solutions for the nearly 900 million people of all ages (and growing) on this planet who are illiterate and very likely want to engage in digital spaces and marketplaces. That’s about 1 in 5 people who may struggle to complete online job applications, read educational content and interact with healthcare, politics and public matters in our increasingly digital world.

Another serious consideration for future websites is the evolving impact of content for wearable devices. “The key development will be a means of presenting long-form content on a wearable. And actually it already exists: the most viable option for delivering large amounts of data on a wearable device is audio” (WDD, Mar. 2015).

In the words of one developer to the world, “This is an incredibly exciting time, not just for the responsive design community, not just the web, but for the world!”.

 

Check Out Our Previous Article,

Mobile Responsive Web Design Pt. 1!

 

USF Health Information Systems is a comprehensive technology group serving the needs of the Academic Research and Clinical missions. We partner with our customers to deliver agile responsive technology solutions that drive business value and make life better for our students and patients. Connect and learn more about us online, anytime at health.usf.edu/is/. Alternatively, you can give us a call at (813) 974-6288 or send an after-hours email to support@health.usf.edu.

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