Stream News & Views

24 Jul 2020
Continuing Professional Development, why is it so important to your organisation?
15 Jul 2020
Order your towbars online using the new Hayman Reese NZ website
Order your towbars online
23 Jun 2020
Chemfeed rebrand: an opportunity to improve product searching
24 Mar 2020
Covid19 Update - We're open for business
As the COVID-19 situation evolves, Stream Interactive Limited has been monitoring developments across the globe and we are acting in a proactive...
03 Mar 2020
Is voice search a thing to consider in my SEO strategy?
Yes.. you bet it is! With smartphones, smart speakers and digital assistants becoming more prevalent, stats show that voice related searching is...
27 Feb 2020
Is Wordpress the right choice for your organisation or business website?
Wordpress is great... well it is but you can be in danger of taking your eye off the ball while you learn how to set it up and keep it running. What...
22 Nov 2019
Better bounce rates
Bounce rate is typically used as a measurement of a websites overall engagement. A high bounce rate could mean that you're not connecting effectively...
15 Nov 2019
World cup game adds magic to successful 2019 tournament
For New Zealanders the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan didn't exactly live up to their expectations with the All Blacks eventually finishing 3rd...
08 Aug 2019
Association membership platform costs, what to look out for?
Looking for a membership management platform can be a daunting task, with a broad variety of providers offering different options in terms of...
06 Aug 2019
Simple and affordable fantasy rugby games for your business
Play a simple 'Pick the Score' fantasy rugby game that your customers, staff and suppliers will love. Make it your own by re-skinning it with your...
01 Aug 2019
Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007
The Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007 prohibits the sending of spam with a New Zealand link (i.e. messages sent to, from, or within New...
15 May 2019
Do your SERPs make sense?
Probably the single most important thing that your website must achieve is being found by a search engine, without that your site and content are...
27 Mar 2019
streamSWEET multi site capability a bonus for associations
How good would it be if you could manage your own conference website using the same CMS tools as your main site, and connect seamlessly to your...
20 Nov 2018
Going for Gold at the Masters Games
Recently Jim Griffiths (co-director and co-owner of Stream Interactive) competed in the 2018 Pan Pacific Masters Games, playing his favourite sport of...
14 Nov 2018
What is an SPF record, and why should we care?
In an ever increasing technical world "spammers" and "phishers" are looking to pretend to be someone the aren't, for all sorts of reasons. As domain...
29 Aug 2018
Membership application is a breeze
We've created a quick 4 step wizard that makes member applications online a whole lot simpler
27 Aug 2018
Trade show POS app saves time & improves customer experience
A customer had a requirement to sell product at a trade show. We created a point of sale system that allowed them to scan a product supermarket style
25 Aug 2018
Dental EXPO 2018
Dental EXPO is an industry expo showcasing current and emerging industry products, services, technologies and trends.
23 Aug 2018
We've partnered with The Performance Team to improve our performance
Our business is ever evolving and a recent chance meeting with a team performance coach gave rise to a new opportunity to refocus on the way we do...
16 Apr 2018
Your online profile - tips to improve safety
Over time people slowly filter out into the internet a vast amount of information about themselves. The recent Cambridge Analytic/Facebook Scandal...

What is responsive design?

28 Apr 2017

Responsive design is the art of seamlessly conjuring multiple websites out of a single website. It is about ensuring every user, no matter which device they are using to interact with the website, will enjoy a clear, rich and meaningful experience.

This is achieved by dynamically modifying the content of each page to suit the size of the viewport on each device.

Tricks of the trade include making images steadily resize to suit the space available, progressively shrinking column widths and column counts, dynamically rearranging content on the page, hiding less important content as space gets smaller and of course creating multiple navigation menus to suit the different devices.

From a development point of view this is always a challenge. As a client, all that is required is 'a website', whereas the reality is that multiple websites are considered and created, even though with a cursory look it will be considered a single website. All designs carry a common design thread, but ultimately each situation of phone, tablet and desktop is considered and carefully accounted for - along with a number of in-betweens.

Another reality of the responsive approach is that designs are compromised. There is a drive for simplistic content and layout, making it realistically achievable to have material that presents nicely over the various devices. Designs now tend to include more open space, with square or rectangular panels of information forming grids that can stack and resize. This primarily affects desktop views, where the large real estate could often be better utilised.

The process of working up website designs has also changed. The current mindset is to develop for mobile, then see what else can be added in to suit the larger screens. This is the reverse on a few years back where the desktop was the primary focus.

Responsive design is an approach that has evolved since smart phones and tablets became common place. In the early days of tablets and smart phones the solution was to create separate websites, one for the desktop and one for the smart phone. Then adaptive design was 'in' for a while, being an approach that saw content 'jump' to different designs based on preset screen sizes. Out of these emerged the responsive approach, which introduced gradual change through the various sizes.

Even with these trends, there was and remains a LOT of merit to using separate websites for phones and desktops. Delivery of content that has been expressly optimised to suit the media it is presented on carries serious power. A number of high profile sites recognise this value and correctly persist with the two-site approach. Take a look at these examples:

Look at the bottom-right of the footer of each site if automatically redirected away from the mobile site.

Unfortunately reality often bites, and the main reasons the two site approach hasn't been widely continued is that it means higher overhead with two sites to create and maintain, plus it can have a negative impact on SEO. On websites with lighter functional needs the impact of design compromise is reduced, and the commercial trade-offs weigh in.

In summary, the most important thing is to understand why different approaches are used, be aware of the various merits of each approach, and then make a conscious choice on which methods to adopt. Blindly following market trends is like Russian Roulette.

Stream has strong experience with all the approaches discussed above. Our default is to build using the responsive approach, but we also use other techniques as needs demand.


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