We are all aware of the impact that mobile devices (mobiles, tablets and even wearables) have on website usage, even via our own webstats. Now it is official that Google are putting more emphasis on mobile friendly or responsive websites in this announcement ‘expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal’ and they have even given a deadline of 21st April 2015.
This has long been suspected amongst SEO specialists and bloggers but now it is official Google practice, its a fact as well as being good business practice. So you had better adapt or risk losing search results rankings and subsequent site traffic if your website is not mobile friendly or better still fully responsive, if you have not already done so. Read the full announcement made on Google Webmaster Central Blog here. This is not just about smartphone and iPhones it also covers iPads and other tablets, so read on.
Responsive Web Design (RWD) is more than just a web design trend, it is fast becoming a web design requirement, pretty high up the must have check list, especially after 21st April. By the end of 2015 it is estimated that desktop viewers will become make up less that 50% of site visitor stats. But we are not talking about mobile websites, these tend to work at the lowest common denominator level and in many cases are being left behind as the experience is a far cry from the desktop site.
So what is RWD? Responsive web design is about crafting sites displaying with optimal viewing experience – easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling – across a wide range of devices without forgetting that we are designing for people not their devices. So in short images and text content scale to fit the window, controlled by inserting spacers as breakpoint to ensure that the site is displayed in its best form automatically. So as long as the site is set out in a sensitive way the user can view with the least obstacles. Designing responsively does away with the need to create a separate mobile site, It provides users with a seamless brand experience across devices and gives them access no matter how they access your site. View www.evolution-design.co.uk on your mobile. We have given emphasises to displaying; our branding, contact info, the menu then the text followed by the images. You can see how it reforms to portrait or landscape use and importantly – It can decrease loading times of user requested content. Like many RWD websites is not a wonderful user experience – with such reduced smartphone on-screen real estate (display area space), but is a serious improvement without the users need to pinch and expand the page resizes to best display the page. So why are people visiting your website is it for the same reasons that you want them to visit, are they going to the pages that you desire? At least being fully responsive and checking your webstats will give you some indication if your inbound enquiries and orders do not. And lets face it anything that can enhance the users experience has to be worth of consideration in web development.
Its time to stop obsessing about the ‘fold’ as mobile users have no problem scrolling down the page to find the content they want as a swipe is faster than a scroll. But remember that RWD is a user experience tool and SEO tactic, not a replacement for strategy.
If your website is WordPress you can ask us to reformat it quite easily and while this will help make your website as future friendly as possible when converting your website to a responsive site it’s a good opportunity to rethink the content from a users perspective. We would urge you to look at your website and your webstats as part of this process. Remember that while you are improving the presentation people don’t want to read screeds of text on a mobile, ever and Cookie Consent or T&C’s tick boxes can be hard to find if care is not taken especially if these block access to pages or contact or ordering.
Also instead of just adding pages and content it’s a good time to take content off if it is not performing. When did you last take a look at your Google Analytics account? Within Audience it you can find a new tab called Mobile which will tell you not just the percentage of mobile users but also which devices they used to access your site, right down to the phone model.
Here are our stats for the latter part of 2014 and you can see a lot of interesting data here. The number of uses visiting via Apple devices is huge, with an almost equal split between iPhones and iPads. Page views and length of visit (duration) also varies dramatically by phone make and model. Although based on much lower useage It possibly highlighting some issues with the Samsung Galaxy both the III and IV have very few visitors and they spend very little time on the site. So we can now take some action on these points and review.
By Neale Gilhooley, Evolution Design
If you are looking for a career in graphic design or web development then this post may be of help. Whether you want to design logos and work in brand development or carve out a career in website design & build, the potential employer has a need for staff who can start to contribute to the company as soon as possible. Designers are in the service industry as valued collaborating partners. Each employee needs to start adding value to the design companies client offering through the introduction of fresh ideas and expertise and innovating new ways of designing solutions for Clients needs but without wishing to redesign our entire design process. To be able to do this the employer puts a great deal of value onto the designers expertise and a more experienced designer ought to slot in faster and start contributing to projects and agency revenue sooner and with less management. You need to this of what your target audience is looking for and put some emphasis on fulfilling those needs.
So what are the essential criteria that agencies are looking for? These are viewed in different ways with weighting on each and dependent of the position being offered. It is not unusual to change the criteria to fit an exceptional candidate.
From being on the receiving end of thousands of applications and also having hired staff directly and through recruitment agencies we have gained some insight which may be of benefit to wannabe designers and other design agency support staff.
In short your CV must present points 1-4 in a way that the reader can understand and see the skills easily, without needing to decipher it. Get to the point gracefully. The design of your CV should not get in the way of the message.
This recently received e-mail application does have a few faults, but the pluses just outweigh the minuses. the enthusiasm and character flood through. Faults include; I am not Mr Martin, personlisation is eye-catching but for the wrong reasons if it is incorrect. Poor grammar does not work in your favour and US spellings are noticeable to us in the UK. But he has his own logo – I love that, he clearly is passionate about design. Including a skype contact is a great idea.
This e-mail is hardly worthy of a reply, but I did (contact details changed). Yes it really does say “Respected Sir/Mam, Plz See Attach Resume” so is hardly inviting. How long does it take to craft a good covering e-mail? Hardly any and it can be re-used over again so it’s a good investment.
Trade Press . We reads The Drum who have a recruitment section > Drum Jobs
You can try going to this website for news about who does offer placements: e-placementscotland.com
Or you could also try firstname.lastname@example.org they try to arrange placements, if you are Edinburgh based.
Also if you want to move to Scotland have a look into registering here > www.TalentScotland.com
This is the new website that we have just built and launched for consultancy firm Drummond International built with lots of new feature and the content is presented to explain the all that they can do for companies by developing individuals within organisations. But we need to go back a lot further before we get to this point. We were first appointed by Drummond International in mid 2008 to re-design their very first website. Although they found us on Google it turned out that a few years before we had designed a folder on a pro bona rate for the Skye-based childrens development charity Columba 1400 founded by Norman Drummond as well as having worked on a connected annual report and group brochure. So Village Edinburgh strikes again, search the world wide web for someone located 500 yards away.
On the right you can see the 2008-2014 website. A couple of years later and we were asked to help again by creating branded social media profiles for channels already used and then newly developing SM channels, these included YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ once again Google Analytics data has been useful when evaluating each ones performance in turn.
Even after many years of working together with them there was the need to submit a competitive tender and sit through an interview process. We happily did this as it was also a useful part of the briefing process, for both sides. It also ensured that our previous knowledge of the Client was updated and any possible assumptions were also corrected, we had to look forward not back. This was helpful to fully discuss advances in the internet and users experiences together with the rise in use of mobile devices, so a fully responsive website was needed. We were also provided with a mood board and a selection of wonderfully atmospheric B+W photographic images. It is rare to get so much information from a Client and does show great vision and organisation. We did try to add more colour but the photos that that you can see on the site worked best in mono, however worth investigating other routes and visual treatments. Back in 2008 we had installed Google Analytics onto the old website and this data was reviewed by the when the new siteplan was prepared. It also provided an invaluable benchmark for the new site.
Now in late 2014 and the staff of Drummond International felt it was time to completely refresh the company website including the style and page layout. The previous website content updates were done using Adobe Contribute, a very cost effective CMS (content management software as opposed to a bespoke content management system), Naturally it had its limitations but had worked well for 6+ years. With the rapid evolution of WordPress websites and all of the technical and editorial features offered a re-build was the best solution and a future friendly one too. The existing Blog was also WordPress so staff already had a good knowledge of creating and editing web content, another reason to go with a WP for the main site. We advised that the new blog should be integrated onto the website as this would give them better web traffic figures and be easier to encourage Blog viewers to visit main site pages. It would also be much easier to update and include internal site links if it was one entity.
Also a really nice design feature was suggested by the Client – the dynamic social media buttons, have a look at the mouse-over effect. We might add that feature to our own site the next time we refresh it.
Websites are never truly finished and regular content reviews are essential, we hope to keep working with Drummond International for a further 6 years an more. Once again we have given our Client the tools to go on and build their brand and promote their services.
So now if you need to find “an international leadership consultancy who work with some of the world’s most successful organisations to help leaders adapt and achieve in an ever-changing environment” you know where to look > www.drummondinternational.com