Category Archives: Technology

Why do I need a Mobile Website? Responsive design, what does it mean?

web-statsThese days more and more people are access the web from devices such as tablets and mobile devices. Statistics I gathered from one of my websites has shown that of 26,214 visits to the site, 9,938 (37%) requests came from mobile devices, and another 2,022 came from tablet devices.  Therefore, of all the visits to the site almost half (45%) of the traffic is now coming from mobile devices and browsers other than desktop.  This is a huge change from only a couple of years back when 90%+ of requests would have come from desktop browsers.  What is more, the trend seems to be still on an upward curve, so within a few more years desktop browsing will most certainly continue to drop.

“Almost half (45%) of website traffic is now coming from mobile devices…”

With a change of this nature it’s important that your website can be displayed on mobile web browsers.  The simplest way to do this, and provide a consistent experience across multiple devices, is through a responsive design.

All responsive design really means is that elements of your website will re-organise themselves as the browser window gets smaller. This is achieved through aligning elements to float, just like an image that is aligned to the left of text within a word processor, the words will wrap and flow around the text.  With a responsive design aspects of the user interface are organised into blocks that can resize and drop beneath one another as the website resizes.

Another approach is to create a totally separate website using adaptive design.  This is generally a completely new interface, specifically built for mobile around the same content.  When someone accesses your website from a mobile device they get redirected to the mobile website. Most websites do not require this as mobile browsers are now capable of practically everything that a desktop can do with the advent of html5 and css3.

So, what are you options?  If you have an existing site that was developed previously it may be possible to upgrade to a responsive design without losing your content.  If you use a platform such as wordpress, you could get a new theme developed for example.  If your site is very old and you don’t have a CMS it may be more difficult, and now may be the time to make a move and upgrade.

If you are going for a bespoke design you could consider utilising a framework known as twitter bootstrap for example, or if using wordpress you could use one of their latest themes (2012 or 2013) as a starting point for developing your page.

The best advice is to keep it simple and clean, and allow high contrast text so that users can view your site in daylight.  Allow menus expand and contract on mobile devices so that users can get to the main content quickly and easily.

UTD Web Design is currently building a platform to allow small businesses create simple responsive sites.  If you are interested in finding out more contact me at cian@utdwebdesign.com. If you wish to upgrade an old site, design a new site or if you require some independent advice with no obligations. please do contact me and I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction.

Transferring contacts from iPhone to Samsung S4

921422_10201108552533527_1244570365_oI was wondering how I was going to go about transferring my contacts from my iphone 5 to my new Galaxy S4 doing this and turns out it’s really simple.

Here are the steps:

  1. Download Bump on iPhone from the App Store (it’s free)
  2. Download Bump on Galaxy S4 from the Google Play Store (it’s free too)
  3. Configure and enable on both devices it’s pretty simple to set up
  4. Swipe the screen a few times on the iPhone until you get to the contacts screen
  5. Select all contacts and then bump the 2 phones together
  6. They should connect and then the contacts will transfer to your shiny new S4

I’ve only had the S4 a few days and I am very impressed.  I changed from the iPhone 5 because there was no real innovation over the iPhone 4/4s except to make the screen a bit bigger…

The Samsung S4 on the other hand has a much bigger screen, the camera is amazing and the new gestures and eye monitoring stuff is very cool.  I’m glad I have switched across as as techie they’re a much more liberating device given you can access the filesystem directly, a simple thing that means so much, and add a bit more memory if you need it.

What are QR Codes?

The QR stands for Quick Response and basically these codes were created by the automotive industry (Toyota) as a better means of tracking than standard barcodes as they are quicker to scan and decode.

Since the advent of apps on smart phones such as the iphone and android phones and game consoles such as the Nintendo 3DS QR codes have found multiple new uses.  Essentially you can store any sort of data within a QR code but the most common use now is to store internet URLS.

For example this blog post’s URL is http://www.waterfordwebdesign.ie/what-are-qr-codes/

If you were reading this article on a newspaper or were reading information about the website on a flyer it would be slightly inconvenient to open your browser and type in the URL and it would be prone to human error.

QR Codes to the rescue

As well as posting the link I could also print the QR code with the article or flyer.  To get a QR Code all you have to do is go to one of the many free QR generator sites e.g. http://www.qrstuff.com/

For the link above this produced:

If you now go to your phones app store and download a QR scanner and scan the above QR Code you will be brought to this article on your iphone.

This one will bring you to UTD Web Design :-)