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articles tagged with: responsive


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Web Testing on real phones & tablets

Web Testing on real phones & tablets

There are so many ways a website can be rendered on screen. Not only is there a huge variety of phone shapes and sizes but all of these can have multiple browsers (e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer). Then there's the fact that they can display in landscape or portrait mode. Users aren’t using a mouse but are instead using their fingers (some with 'digits' a little less delicate than others!).

It’s difficult for us developers and designers at web design agencies to predict just how our latest website might look online. There are of course websites that are meant to emulate how it will look but they're not always accurate.

This is where Open Device Lab steps in to make life that little bit easier. We headed over to their offices at Aardman to test one of the responsive website designs we're currently working on. We were able to test it on multiple popular devices from the iPad to a Blackberry. In doing this we could avoid the on-line emulators, we didn't have to pester friends with a different phone to ours to "borrow it for a second".
At ODL we could use a pretty handy piece of kit called 'Ghostlab'. Ghostlab synchronises browser testing. It scrolls, clicks, reloads and form inputs across all connected clients. So what you're testing is not the simple page load, but the full user experience. We also had the option to abandon that and fiddle with each device individually which is good for spotting usability issues that could possibly go unnoticed otherwise.

ODL Bristol are sponsored by the digital marketing agency 'Noisy Little Monkey', these guys made us feel super welcome and we were comfortable knowing we had coffee and support at hand (if required). More importantly, we left feeling we had done a thorough job of testing for our client.

So what did this cost us?... absolutely nothing. We're not sure if that's ever due to change but at the moment so long as you book ahead, you're welcome to pay them a visit. A the moment this gem feels like our little secret but you know what we're like at Focus, we promise to keep you guys updated with all things digital and this is definitely worth 'whispering' about.

Jordana Jeffrey
Jordana

Created on Monday December 01 2014 04:42 PM


Tags: website technology web-development mobile-internet web-design ux responsive


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It's play time!

It's play time!

The BIG launch! The new-look "Go Places to Play" is here - an online park finder that makes it easy for you and your family to enjoy fun and exciting play opportunities in and around Bristol.

We've recently redesigned goplacestoplay.org.uk for Bristol City Council so that it not only looks better than before but it works better. "Go Places to Play" is now even more intelligent so that you can find parks and play areas far more quickly and efficiently. We understand that you live busy lives and need information at your fingertips - wherever you may be. The site is now responsive so it is easy to use on smartphones, tablets and laptops. This means you can quickly  find your nearest park when you're out and about. You can click on map points to get further information about the park or site you are interested in, or you can use the postcode search to bring up sites in your area.

The online calendar means you can search for local events that suit your requirements and interests. You'll be provided with results if you search using a relevant keyword, or you can find something more specific using the handy advanced search which allows you to search by event type, location and distance from your chosen postcode.

There are also some great ideas for play featuring tips and suggestions from our Play friends and partners - a particularly good resource for the school holidays. Plus, our brand new FAQs section answers many of the common questions we get asked.

As before the option is there to register as an event organiser which means you can upload your own events to feature on the events calendar. Once approved you will see them published.

People like to feel as though they are a part of a website and the 'community' that use it. Interaction is key so if you find something you like on Go Places to Play you can "Share with a friend". Regular news updates also ensure that everybody is on top of all that's going on. It's a site that seems to have people talking, if you want to be a part of the excitement please like the Go Places to Play Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/goplacestoplaybristol or better still, go and check out the site to see for yourself!




Sneak preview just for you!

Sneak preview just for you!

We can't contain our excitement, we simply have to share with you what's bubbling away in the studio!

Improvements are being made to our current online park finder "Go Places To Play" - a website that forms a part of Bristol City Council's campaign to encourage children to play outdoors.

We don't want to give the game away but here are a few snippets of what to expect.

Mobile friendly - We've added more functionality that is based on your current location i.e. your closest park is. It is also a mobile first build; usually mobile sites are designed as a result of a desktop design that is scaled down. Not this site. We've started with the mobile design and scaled up! The build is responsive; meaning you get an optimised view on desktop, tablet and mobile.

User friendly - Much easier to navigate the site. You're guided through it and it is clear to see all it can do and how it can benefit you.

Age appeal - Adults often view the site with their children in mind. The site is much less childlike and now appeals to a wider age range so that it is great for parents to navigate, but still has a family, child-related feel.

Search to suit you - We want people to be able to find personalised information based on where they are and what they like to do rather than just general information.

We've put some serious effort in to not only making the site look good but in making it a useful tool that you feel you can go to and rely on. It's not yet a finished product but we can't wait until it is and you'll be the first to know about it!

If you would like to see the online park finder as it is now, please go to http://goplacestoplay.org.uk/




Woodland Court are mobile-ready for 2014

Woodland Court are mobile-ready for 2014

Working with our friends at Pace, we've got a new responsive site live in super-quick time for the friendly folk at Woodland Court.

Part of BrunelCare, Woodland Court is a new retirement living choice, situated in a quiet area of Downend. The Woodland Court team needed a website that they could keep up to date, particularly with apartments that come up for sale.

Already having an established relationship with Pace meant that when they suggested we work in partnership to develop the website, Woodland Court were only to happy to go ahead. The new site features a Content Management System, so the Woodland team can update the majority of their pages themselves. There are also lightbox features, enabling users to view lots of (professionally-taken) photos of the apartments and surroundings. An editable slideshow means promotions and events can be shown quickly and easily.

More specifically, a customised 'Apartments' module means the team can list new apartments, add downloads and images, and mark them as 'sold'.

With accessibility features and fully responsive build, the site is ready to roll for 2014! Take a look here.

Fancy knowing more about mobile, responsive or any other features in this article? Then please do get in touch!

Annette Ryske
Annette

Created on Wednesday December 18 2013 09:31 AM


Tags: new-year responsive mobilewebsite


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Connecting Families

Connecting Families

Last month saw us launch a new web site on behalf of the Parent Partnership team at Bath and North East Somerset Council.

Connecting Families is a new programme designed to help families with multiple complex needs in the BathNES region - and is part of the Government's Troubled Families Initiative, which aims to change the lives of 120,000 families by 2015.

The web site provides users with access to a database of support groups and organisations who offer help, guidance and advice. The database is categorised into easy-to-follow scenarios and topics that are relevant to individual family members - so it's clear where everyone can find the information most appropriate to them.

Additionally the site has built using underlying responsive tech - with the layout of each page changing based on the device being used to view it; whether it's a desktop, laptop, tablet or mobile smartphone. We include a responsive layout with all our new web site projects - helping provide engaging user experiences across all devices.

To see the new web site please see:
http://www.connectingfamilies.org.uk 

Annette Ryske
Annette

Created on Friday November 22 2013 10:00 PM


Tags: website new-web-site responsive


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Digital Love

Digital Love

The trouble with being dead busy and heads-down-cracking-on is you get a bit inward-facing... which is great for the here and now, but means you can lose sight a bit of what's happening out there in the big wide world of Web. So yesterday was a great opportunity for me to raise my head up, and spend the day at a conference in Bristol City Centre - On The Edge Digital. It was a really inspiring event - the speakers covered a range of topics, some of which we know, some we think we know and some we can learn a lot from!

The subjects included:

  • Content - matching it to your sales process, and your target audience
  • Localised SEO (search Engine Optimisation) and Searches - what does it mean to be Local?
  • Email Marketing - some easy methods to try to get improved results
  • PPC (Pay Per Click) - quick wins and Google's new Enhanced campaigns
  • Social Media - strategy, common mistakes and what channels to use
  • RWD (Responsive Web Design) - understanding more about why, and when to make the change to give the best user experience
  • Social Networking for B2B - making it the right fit; and fitting it in!

And I do love the Digital World. It's inspiring and jaw-dropping and infuriating and exciting and keeps on changing ALL THE TIME. I love learning about latest developments and trends and news and views, forming opinions, putting them into practice, and then applying new developments and trends and news and views to make ongoing improvements... and so it goes on.

If you think it's about time to review your website or digital marketing strategy, please do get in touch. There's some exciting new developments happening right now, and it's all fresh in my mind - so let's have a chat and see what we can do to get you a bit of Digital Love too :-)




What's to come in 2013? Design predictions..

What's to come in 2013? Design predictions..

As a web designer, I owe my career to the internet and it's popularity but if I don't keep up with the ever growing market it holds then there could be trouble. It's down to me to ensure I stay ahead of the game by continually updating and streamlining my work to keep it relevant.
To do this I have to consider how web design might change. What may be popular in the future? which novelties are fading out?

A lot has changed in terms of web design over the past few years and as we wave goodbye to January (yes, already!) and delve deeper in to 2013 this growth is almost certain to continue.

Reasons behind change are varied but it is safe to say that developments in technology are one of them. WIth this in mind, here are just a few things that I think may remain or become popular in this new year..

Responsive design
O.K, so that was an obvious one but it has been said that just after next year over 50% of web traffic will come from a mobile device. It is becoming as important to please your mobile visitors as it is to please traditional web browsers.

Minimalism
Clean and efficient design doesn't look set to be disappearing anytime soon. People can't seem to get enough of the clarity it brings.

Big buttons
Expect large buttons now that touch screen has pretty much taken over, well, for commercial users at least. I know I'm not the only one using my mobile device to catch up on social networking on the way to work!

Larger images
Mobile devices are getting far better at loading big sites quickly so the web will no doubt see more and more large and high definition images. Also, resolutions continue to increase so smaller images simply don't look as good as they used to.

Engaging visitors
Social media and creating discussion are both becoming even more important. In order to keep up their profiles businesses are embracing various techniques across design, SEO, email marketing and social media.

I don't have a crystal ball but it's good to gather an idea on what lies ahead if we want to improve user experience. Just one year can bring a lot of change, especially in technology. So, it's important to us to always keep on top of it as it can shape the way we design, test and market our websites.

Jordana Jeffrey
Jordana

Created on Monday February 04 2013 09:30 AM


Tags: web-design internet responsive


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Responding to Responsive

So, over the Christmas break I renewed my car insurance (dull); using comparethemeerkat.com again, as I really like their easy-to-use interface, plus the free meerkat toy, obvs. And it goes without saying that I think their marketing is brilliant, every email I've received about the policy itself has been spot on in terms of copy and communication, including the fun notifications about my application for a free meerkat toy!

And to the point of my blog - they've made the emails responsive.

This worked really well; like many others I check my emails on my iPhone most of the time - in fact, more email is read on mobile than on a desktop email client or via webmail. Stats say 43% of email is now opened on a mobile device!*

Anyway, when my meerkat email came in, it looked like this (click to view whole email): - easy to read, clear and well formatted; with those all-important social media share options visible at the top - nice touch. I clicked a link to 'track postkat's progress', it took me to a sensible looking webpage.

.

When I looked at the same email on my laptop - see below - it had the same content, still easy to read, but reformatted for desktop use. The click-though went to the same webpage, incidentally - which worked well on both devices, largely due to a simple call-to-action and large visual.

Now, possibly most people wouldn't really notice this (webbies tend to look for it!), but that's the point - you are shown a version of the email that suits your device - and that's the beauty of responsive - it's subtlely brilliant and clever, and gets you the information you need in the best format available.

Of course, clicking links in emails on a mobile, means you're linking through to a website - will that be responsive too? Or dedicated-mobile site? Or annoying desktop with tiny buttons that you-just-can't-seem-to-locate...

Responsive websites? A whole other subject - I'll leave that one for another day!

You can read more about Responsive emails in Simon's blog article.


*Litmus -"Email Analytics" (December 2012).

Annette Ryske
Annette

Created on Friday January 04 2013 01:37 PM


Tags: responsive


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