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Cross-browser Performance

Cross-browser Performance

Cross-browser Performance
Unfortunately for website developers, and website owners, the major web browsers, Chrome (52.9%), Firefox (27.7%), Internet Explorer (12.6%), Safari (4.0%) and Opera (1.6%), all handle websites differently.

A website that looks fine on a device in Safari, may have problems when viewed in Firefox.

This age old issue has been greatly confounded by the explosion of smartphone and tablet browsing, which adds another level of complexity to the problem.

Over time, experienced web developers accumulate a list of methods and tactics they have used to combat cross-browser compatibility issues.

A useful resource containing many of these known tactics (often referred to in the trade as "browser hacks") can be found here: http://css-tricks.com/snippets/css/browser-specific-hacks/.

If you know of a browser hack that will save web developers time and hassle, please tell us.

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.

CSS Tricks You May Not Know About

CSS Tricks You May Not Know About

CSS Tricks You May Not Know About
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) is a language used to describe web pages' font colours, area sizes, and element positions.

As well as ensuring design integrity, CSS3 (the current version) can also control the interface that user experience based on the viewing screen. This is called Responsive Design or Adaptive Design.

Dependent upon screen size, page elements can adapt by resizing and repositioning to fit the device.

Using CSS, a single website can appear optimised for both a mobile phone and a desktop monitor.

CSS also dictates another key user interface element.

In HTML5, CSS is taking the place of Gif, Flash, and Javascript to display animations.

This simpler way of animating is being embraced because of the limitations of Gif animation and the incompatibility of Flash with many mobile devices.

That leaves CSS and Javascript.

In a battle between the two, our money is on CSS because of the increased performance.

Less computation power is required using CSS and transitions are smoother than they would appear in Javascript.

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:


Mobilise the Forces

Mobilise the Forces

Mobilise the Forces

Are you mobile ready?

Chief Executive of Google, Eric Schmidt once said "If you don't have a mobile strategy, you don't have a future strategy", and he practices what he preaches.

Since 2010 Google has embraced a mobile first culture, meaning the technology superpower is primarily focused on mobile.

With the continuing explosion of mobile Internet use - more people now check e-mail on mobile devices than on desktops - make sure you don't miss the boat!