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Journal - Tagged ‘ User experience (UX) ’

Some witterings from the team at Hutchhouse...

A brief guide to responsive web design for your business


Responsive Web Design is the latest buzz-word when it comes to designing and developing websites. It’s not a completely new thing, and most agencies worth their salt will have been rolling out responsive websites for a while now, but it’s fast becoming standard practice so if you are a business owner planning to get a new website then you need to know about it.

Prototype


PrototypeCreating a prototype for a website or application is the perfect way to demonstrate how effective the user experience will be. The prototype defines the bulk of the website; its content, structure and general layout and is the most cost effective way to get the right results.

Why use a prototype?

Traditionally, in the early stages of any project, a full specifications document would be created that outlined the scope of the website and would describe (in words) the proposed user journeys, functionality and content. However it’s hard to envisage a full website or application by reading a 30-page document that contains no (or very little) imagery and even harder to tweak, improve and refine. Stakeholders can get confused over which version they should be referring too, and asking them to ‘imagine’ the final product is a tall order.

A prototype does away with a functional specifications document and does a far better job of keeping focus on the user and business goals.

Prototypes and responsive design

With the introduction of responsive design the prototype has become even more influential in planning, scoping and testing the effectiveness of a product. By prototyping the various breakpoints (screen sizes) we are able to easily see how a single website will perform on desktop, tablet and smartphone devices. Moreover, many decisions can be finalised during this phase avoiding costly oversights once a project has entered into the design and development stages.

What are the benefits of using a prototype?

There are many benefits to creating a prototype of your website or application because:

  • Having something tangible that you can actually experience is far better than trying to imagine how a website might function and respond
  • It’s an effective way to explore how effective the user journey is for your different audiences
  • Creating a blueprint to outline your core requirements means everyone in the process will always focussed on the same goals
  • Making changes and refining a prototype is much more cost effective than making changes during the design and/or development stages
  • Future functionality can be tested on the (already existing) prototype before they are approved for design and/or development

 

Responsive Web Design


Responsive Web DesignCatering for users on mobile and tablet devices, as well as desktop computers has always been a headache in terms of design. With the advent of HTML5 and CSS3 and the almost full adoption of these by mobile and tablet browsers the headache is replaced by a sensible, creative approach. Responsive web design.

What is responsive web design?

Responsive design is a concept which is ‘device agnostic’. The idea is that websites are optimised to be viewed in different ways on different sizes of screen, not on specific devices. If you look at our website on a smartphone, be it an iPhone, HTC or whichever brand, then it appears differently to that of the desktop version. It has been designed and laid out differently to work for users on smartphone screen resolutions. The same applies for tablets, be they Kindles, iPads, Galaxys, whatever.

What are the benefits of responsive design?

There are several benefits which provide better user experiences for the site user and the site owner alike.

The website user will benefit from responsive design because:

  • The website content is consumable on any device
  • Website functionality is not impaired because it is being used on a specific device
  • Redundant or superfluous content can be removed from the user interface
  • There is a consistent user experience across devices

The website owner will benefit because:

  • In general there is no need for a separate mobile site
  • The website has one domain and no mobile.domain.com
  • There is no duplicate content to deal with in terms of content management or search engines
  • Uses the latest standard compliant code
  • Easily tailored for low bandwidth mobile use
  • One codebase, easy updates and extension
  • Consistent design/brand experience

To find out more about our responsive design services please contact us

Discovery workshop


Discovery workshopThe workshop we run is informal with a view to really get to know your business inside-and-out.  We prefer to do this face-to-face so we can let the ideas flow by brainstorming, sketching ideas and exploring all possibilities. It’s a much more natural way to get to know you and what your user will want to understand about your business.

The discovery workshop

We are sure to have already been provided with your top level website or application requirements but to fully understand a project we really need to align ourselves with you and your project in the following ways:

  • User audiences
  • Audience personas
  • User goals
  • Specific business requirements
  • Competitor analysis
  • Existing assets (such as branding, campaigns, applications etc)

Once we have been through the project in the context of these very important areas, we’ll be able to expand on them in a summary discovery document which we’ll deliver and agree upon before we move into the production of your project. It’s not a wordy, lengthy document that you’ll want to store at the bottom of that pile on your desk — the idea is that this project summary ensures that we’re all singing form the same hymn sheet.

Responsive web design webinar notes


Responsive web design webinar notes

Thanks to all those that attended the responsive web design webinar on Tuesday the 28th of August 2012. It was great to share our understanding and experience of responsive design, thanks for your questions and feedback. We’ll be incorporating some of them in an updated seminar.

Free responsive web design webinar


Free responsive web design webinar

Free Webinar: Responsive Web Design

Are you losing potential from your website because some visitors are turned away by a user experience that does not suit their mobile or tablet device? This is a question that every website owner should be asking themselves.

Maximising website impact through ‘value centred design’


Maximising website impact through ‘value centred design’

The success of a website comes from its ability to engage with its viewers. Here we discuss the ways that you can make your website more successful for your business.

Like your website design but not so keen on your content management system?


Like your website design but not so keen on your content management system?

Having an aesthetically pleasing website for your company is most definitely a satisfying feeling.  However, a lot of websites suffer once you access the CMS (Content Management System) and realise that you need a degree in rocket science to use it. Frustrating in most cases, infuriating in others, your content management system is off putting and tiresome to use.

Writing hierarchical web content with clear objectives


Writing hierarchical web content with clear objectives

A website’s user interface ultimately needs to fulfil a purpose. Often it can have a single goal such as creating an enquiry or can often need to perform a selection of useful functions like searching, booking and purchasing. However big or small your requirement might be, well structured user interface design and a considered website content strategy will always come into play.

All too often we see websites that perform lots of tasks adequately, but rarely fulfil the objectives of a) the site user and b) the website owner.

Why should you develop a website and a mobile site?


Why should you develop a website and a mobile site?

With the emergence of mobile web in recent years, having a mobile site for your business or charity is becoming more important than ever. Here’s a couple of reasons why…