When Planning a Website, Consider your Audience

When Planning your next Website it is important to consider your target audience and what they are going to be using to view your latest online masterpiece. Applying a Responsive, or Adaptive, (an Adaptive or Responsive website is one that resizes to fit exactly the device it is viewed upon)¬†approach has never been more important and whether you use your own framework or one of the many available, it is a good start…but, its not enough.

Mobile devices not only have smaller screens, but also a reduced bandwidth and a very different way for the user to interact with content etc. All these points need to be carefully considered when designing and building a website.

Bandwidth.

Mobile devices do have a reduced connection speed if out roaming or not tethered to an available WiFi access point so it is important that you have all your images optimised, javascript & CSS files minified to improve download rates, this will also score you points from an SEO perspective too!

One area that is vital to consider is content. Some content may not be suitable for Mobile devices, such as certain advertising etc, most people simply hide it from the screen using CSS which may be fine for appearence but the content is still being downloaded to the browser and is still consuming valuable bandwidth. All the available Frameworks do not deal with this, nor should they as this is a role for your chosen Content Managent System not for CSS.

User Interaction.

There are many ‘goodies’ available in the developers tool box, the ‘hover’ selector is very nice when used correctly i.e. when the mouse hover’s over a link on the page it underlines or changes colour. Whilst this is fine for desktop and laptop systems that are using a mouse, touch devices such as tablets and smartphones simply won’t see or interact with this properly. So it is important that your design does not rely on these methods alone for anything critical such as navigation etc.

The Bottom line is, when building and developing, test on all devices that you have available and ask friends to test your design too, feedback is always useful.

For further help and guidance on Planning and Building Websites why not contact us here at Zest Internet, we are based in Shrewsbury, Shropshire and have many years experience in Planning, Building and Maintaining Websites.