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Are Animated GIFs About to Make a Comeback?

Are Animated GIFs About to Make a Comeback?

Are Animated GIFs About to Make a Comeback?

I remember fondly when I "built" my first website. It was back in the late 90's, and it was a GeoCities website.

For the readers that didn't have the Internet so far back, GeoCities was like the Wix or the Weebly of the time.

You can see what your website would have looked like as a GeoCities website using the GeoCities-izer tool. Try it with www.google.com.au

GeoCities was a free website provider with all the tools, bell and whistles one needed to build a state-of-the-art, first class website.

Easily the best feature that GeoCities provided however, aside from the marquee text and fluorescent font colours, was the exhaustive library of animated gifs.

Every GeoCities website used them to great effect, literally (and I don't mean figuratively) displaying dozens and dozens of animated gifs.

Often, the best part of a visiting a GeoCities website was waiting for your web browser to load every gif file, keeping in mind that most Internet connections were 56Kb/s back then.

Sadly, as the popularity of GeoCities started to wane, and around the same time that Flash became popular, animated gifs were ditched like an empty milk carton out a car window on a long, quiet road.

Readers, I have exciting news, as the animated gif looks set for a come back.

In what appears to be a throwback to the heyday, website owners are once again embracing the now "retro-coolness" of adding animated gifs into the content of their websites.

There have even been vocal calls for Facebook and Twitter to add support for animated gifs into feeds and on user pages.

And we here at iASP Central embrace this new movement for many reasons:

  1. Animated gifs are an effective way to catch attention on a page. hot gif
  2. Animated gifs are supported on Apple devices, a major advantage over Flash animation. hot gif
  3. Animated gifs are smaller in file size than video. hot gif
  4. Animated gifs don't require a special player to be installed. hot gif
  5. Animated gifs are treated as images and so can be added almost anywhere into hot gif
  6. Animated gifs are really easy to make. A lot easier than a video, or a Flash animation. hot gif

 spinning earth gifdancing baby gifspinning earth gif 7up spot gif

Are you thinking about adding animated gifs to your website? Let us know on the iASP Central Facebook Page, or Get in Touch.

Page Views: counter gif

Responsive Design VS Dedicated Device Versions

Responsive Design VS Dedicated Device Versions

Responsive Design VS Dedicated Device Versions
As more and more users surf the web with mobile devices, website designers need to implement web design solutions that cater to these users. Two of the most popular solutions are Responsive Design and Dedicated Device Versions (i.e. publishing a desktop computer version and a dedicated mobile device version).

The Responsive web design (RWD) approach aims at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience. Whether the website is viewed on a smart phone or a large computer monitor, a Responsive website layout adapts itself to fit the size of the screen. Certain elements might change position or become hidden, but still most or all of the content is typically the same across all screen resolutions.

The other method is to publish multiple dedicated device specific designs. For example, a dedicated desktop site and a dedicated mobile device site.

Typically with the standalone approach the mobile device versions will only contain the most essential information in a lightweight framework that optimises the viewing experience on a small screen.

Unfortunately in our experience neither of these approaches ticks all the boxes. In some cases a Responsive design is preferable, whereas, a dedicated device version can also deliver a highly optimised user experience.

In the near future as this exciting technology evolves Hub Com Digital will continue to develop the capabilities of our extensive proprietary technology platform: iASP, and we'll keep you posted as the evolution continues.

What is responsive design...and why it's not the end game!

What is responsive design...and why it's not the end game!

What is responsive design...and why it's not the end game!

So what is responsive design?

The simple answer is: websites featuring responsive design automatically adjust according to the device they are being viewed on.

Elements such as overall size, the position of various elements, the size of elements such as images and even the way functions like navigation menus are displayed adjust automatically to present the site in optimum format according to the device it is being viewed with, be it a desktop, smartphone, tablet or even a wide-screen TV.

With the explosion of Internet usage on tablets and smartphones, website developers are under increasing pressure to provide multi-device publication capabilities, and responsive design has created a lot of industry hype, but even the most sophisticated responsive design cannot satisfy all multi-device functionality requirements, especially in the transactional website environment.

Not even the most creative responsive design can accommodate optimum simultaneous display of all website functions on both a 4 inch smartphone and a 60 inch wide-screen TV.

There are some functions, like shopping carts for example, that are simply better with a purpose built interface for desktops and a purpose built interface for smartphones.

Best practice responsive design also imposes limitations on overall structure and layout of pages, and in the content management system environment, where the content authors are not necessarily web designers, this can also be problematic.

Until the next quantum leap is design, for now I think the best solution is a hybrid: part responsive design and part device-specific functionality.

We've recently completed development of such a solution and as soon as it's live we'll let you know.

For now, feel free to have a look at some other websites that allow simultaneous publication of the same content in both desktop and smartphone specific profiles that we've recently delivered: