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Are you Mobile?

Are you Mobile?

There have been a large number of articles over the last few months on the rise of mobile internet with more people now using mobile devices to view websites. This is something which interests us a lot here at Focus Towers as we’ve always believed mobile phones and tablets would become a key way for people to access the web.

I also read yesterday about how social media is helping to maintain the interest in TV shows such as X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing on a Saturday. I would imagine the people using social media while watching TV are using a mobile phone or tablet to ‘tweet’ or ‘comment’ about what they are watching. I for one was on Twitter (on my iPhone) last night while watching Young Apprentice and chuckling at some of the comments which were made and observations made by people which I had also noticed.

“Almost half of UK internet users are going online via mobile phones, according to the Office for National Statistics.”

Source: BBC News, 31 August 2011

It’s not just TV shows, you can now use your mobile phone to check prices of items online before purchase in store or using your phone to find the closest coffee shop.  There is a huge buzz around app currently and I have 100’s downloaded to my phone, but I’m using mobile sites more and more for things like banking, shopping, checking out the latest film or train times. I even used Heathrow’s mobile site to check on arrival times for a friend’s flight. I also use the Amazon mobile site rather than the iPhone app because I find that it’s quicker and easier to make a purchase.

A recent study commissioned by Barclays Corporate found that almost 63% of all mobile owners use their device during the online purchase process at present but that this still accounts for just 5% of total ecommerce spend (£26bn) for 2011. However, the research predicts that this figure will rise to £19.3bn a year by 2021 due to the growing popularity of smart phones and tablet devices, sales of which are set to hit 6m by the end of this year alone.

Building a mobile version of a web site isn’t complicated and doesn’t require extensive additional coding (as the same data sources can be used for both ‘standard’ and ‘mobile’ sites) - but it does require some thought due to the reduced processing power and screen real estate of such devices.

We find the key is to focus on your ‘call to action’ and ensure it can be completed easily within the given restrictions. One of the other main differences is that smart phones tend to rely on touch screen for interaction with the user - so the design should lend itself to big graphical buttons that can be viewed and ‘clicked upon’ easily with the finger - rather than a cursor.

 

If you want to see our own mobile site just type www.thisisfocus.co.uk into your phones browser and you’ll see how we have made our desktop site an easy to use and view mobile version. 




IE9 Launch - is it time for you to break up with your browser?

IE9 Launch - is it time for you to break up with your browser?

A browser can be like that comfy pair of old slippers, it’s your friend, to take your walks around the internet in. It can be hard to break the habit of those old comfy slippers though, and try a new pair of slippers, even if they may allow you to walk a bit faster and trip you up less. You might not know your way round in them so well at first, they might not be the right fit for what you need or they could be a great improvement; maybe those old slippers are holding you back? With the launch of Internet Explorer 9 last week it’s time for us all to consider if our current browser really is the best fit.

For those less technical savvy amongst you, you may be shocked to know that there is more than one way to view the internet. You may still be using Internet Explorer thinking that that is as good as the internet can get, but let me introduce you to my friends, Google Chrome, Firefox and Safari. These different browsers offer different functionality some are better for macs (Safari) some are faster (Chrome) and some are safer (Firefox). 

Internet Explorer has dominated the browser market for many years; in 2002 95% of web users were browsing through it, now that’s more like 45-50%. This is because the browser market has revolutionised in the last couple of years with the invention of browsers like Chrome and Firefox which offer faster web browsing, better functionality and a more intuitive web browsing experience. Internet Explorer 9 is Microsoft’s latest offering that is trying to win back its market share. It offers integration with Windows 7 to make browsing your favourite sites easier, and gives larger screen space to site contents by reducing the tool bars. 

It’s free to download any of these browsers, so why not find out which is the right fit for you? 




Future Of Web Apps London 2010

Future Of Web Apps London 2010

If you follow us on Twitter you may have seen our tweet stream go a little crazy last week. I was at Future of Web Apps - a 2 day conference for web developers (that’s me) featuring talks from the people behind some of the biggest companies on the web (Google, Opera, Mozilla, Flickr & TweetMeMe to name a few).

As the title implies, it’s all about web apps - web sites that deliver a product or service online and where the technologies behind them are going.

Here are a few highlights of the day.

The Future of HTML5, SVG and CSS3 (Brad Neuberg)

This talk was all about of future technologies of the web. I’ll try not to go all techie on this one, but basically the core technologies used to build websites are evolving. These progressions are allowing developers to build sites than run faster, look better and are more accessible. More features can be handled be your web browser without having to relay on third-party plugins (like flash). These features can include watching online video, easier to understand web pages for people using assistive technologies and amazing interactive animations in your web pages.

The 37signals way: A look into the design process of 37signals (Ryan Singer)

My favourite talk of the day, Ryan Singer is a product manager at 37 signals (the people behind Basecamp). This talk challenged the traditional wireframe, photoshop, code approach to the design process by almost turning whole thing on it’s head! The key points to take away were to focus on the business logic at the center first and get something running in the browser. Team members spend less time waiting on each other and your end design fits the content (rather than the other way round).

Location, Location, Location (Joe Stump)

There’s no doubt the future of web is mobile. The iPhone started the smart-phone revolution in 2007 and in the next couple of years mobile web browsing is expected to surpass browsing from the desktop. Whereas with the desktop web content was king, with the mobile web context is the new king. This is because the amount of data we’re producing is growing exponentially (side note: Joe claimed that every two days 2.6 million terabytes of data - which is the same amount we produced up until 2003). Without providing context to all the data we’re producing it’s useless.

Future of JavaScript and jQuery (John Resig)

The title is a little cryptic, but this talk introduced a very powerful tool for developing the latest generation of mobile web apps. The jQueryMobile project aims to provide a set of tools for creating great looking user interfaces across a plethora of mobile devices. The idea being developers can spend more time focused on implementing great features and less time debugging different devices. The ‘alpha’ release is due next week with the finished ‘1.0’ release in January.

Created on Monday October 18 2010 10:00 AM


Tags: technology web-development networking browser conference training fowa 2010


Comments [1]








Future of Web Design Tour 2009

We're back from the Future of Web Design (FOWD) 1 day conference in Bristol

Paul & Simon had an inspiring day learning about the latest web design trends and topics as well as meeting lots of other designers and developers in the Bristol area.

The conference covered topics including: the new features of HTML5 - the next generation of web design technology, how to improve the design process with your clients, how to create the perfect portfolio and 5 ways to introduce more fun into the work place.

The hosts even provided free beer after the event as well!

Created on Thursday September 10 2009 10:13 AM


Tags: networking bristol browser communication fowd conference


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AVG anti-malware messes with web stats

New version of AVG
If you've noticed your site stats going through the roof recently it may not be down to your 2nd quarter marketing efforts but an unexpected side effect of AVG's latest anti-virus software.

20 million users are estimated to have upgraded to version 8 over the past couple of months.  One of the first things you'll notice upon installation is that for any search carried out in Google, Yahoo or MSN, a green tick or red cross appears by each returned result. 

AVG searches all sites for malware, disguising itself as a 'real' visitor to fool the more sophisticated programmes.  Which is good news for users but disastrous for website owners who rely on analytics packages to successfully measure 'real' traffic from which to base their online marketing budget. 

By making an anti-malware 'probe' that is indistinguishable from a human visit, AVG may have accidentally created more problems than it intended to solve.  Web developers may have to work hard to produce an answer to this mess or demand that AVG modify its package.

Source: The Register

Created on Monday June 16 2008 10:45 AM


Tags: avg browser technology web-development


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the mobile web - that €57 Billion untapped market

Making money from the webThe Mobile Internet World Europe Summit convened a few days ago to discuss ways to "capitalize on the fastest growing marketplace in the converging media, entertainment and telecommunications industries."

The blogosphere seems to be rather tight-lipped on the findings or perceptions of this conference, leading me to believe that either the conference bombed or the participants are keeping very quiet about their conclusions.

With such high sums at stake wouldn't you?!




No more Netscape


With 80% of all internet users browsing with IE, Netscape has finally given up the ghost.  Bizarre to think that a decade ago people were referring to the Internet and Netscape synonymously...

Sources: BBC, Netscape blog, IT News

Created on Wednesday March 05 2008 10:30 AM


Tags: browser competition technology web-development


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