For the first time since 2001, PC sales are expected to be less this year than last year, and with consumers buying, and accessing the web through, a multitude of different devices, from desktops to netbooks, and tablets to smartphones, it poses a challenge for companies of how best to design their sites to be singularly represented across this fragmented web.
With users accessing content across such a wide range of devices, and thus, a wide range of screen sizes, it is becoming ever more important to take this into consideration when designing a website. There is a lot more content real estate available, for example, on a desktop screen than a smartphone and mashable predict that 2013 will be the year when responsive web design will become best practice.
A responsive website figures out the screen resolution of the device it’s being viewed on and uses flexible images and fluid grids to then size the site correctly to fit that type of screen. This means that when the site is accessed on a desktop, the content can be displayed over a large space, whilst on a smartphone, it can be sized to fit into one column. The site will even resize its content to best fit the screen when the user tilts their smartphone or tablet from landscape to portrait orientation.
Have a look how your site is represented across a myriad of devices with Responsinator.
This beauty from Owens DDB, designed to highlight the resale value of Volkswagen cars, was the big winner at last night’s National Newspaper of Ireland awards at the Mansion House, Dublin. The cut-out style newspaper ad won the Press Ad of the Year 2012 award as well as prizes for Best Art Direction and Best Consumer Durables Ad.
“This is a purely newspaper ad that wouldn’t work in any other medium,” said judges Mark Lewis and Matt Fitch of BBH London. “It’s really simple but it works on multiple levels. At the end of the day it’s a joke, but it succeeds in getting across a very serious point about the re-sale value of your car”.
Digital news outlets may be taking over from print journalism for many people but that doesn’t mean that print can’t still be a viable medium for creative and impactful advertising.
This video from Code.org has gotten quite a bit of attention over the last week, mainly due to the tech heavyweights including Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates who feature talking about how getting into coding from a young age had helped them become successful.
While there’s no doubt the world will need more and more coders in the future, I don’t think kids will need any help getting excited about coding considering the amount of time most will spend on the web or their smartphones etc. (plugging the cool offices and free food that these tech companies tend to have won’t do any harm though).
The real problem will be how fast educational institutions adapt and allocate sufficient resources to coding in schools. That is why outlets like Code.org and Ireland’s own Coder Dojo are so important in giving the next generation a chance to learn coding on their own terms.
As for the rest of us, I learned basic web design skills online in my spare time. It’s like everything else these days, all the information is out there on the web, just a Google search away, available to anyone who wants to use some initiative and learn some new skills.
I’m a Digital Strategist passionate about the intersection between technology and creative marketing. I recently moved to London after 11 years living in Dubai.