Google’s Mobile Usability Review

There has been a fair bit of talk in the press recently about a new approach that the search giant Google is taking to website ranking.  The bottom line is that they are starting to take into account ‘mobile usability’ when deciding what ranking to assign to website pages.

This can be quite a scary thing to contemplate, especially if you’ve worked hard to achieve good page rankings in search engines.  But actually it is simply a (rather heavy-handed) prod to website owners to ensure that their websites work well on mobile devices.

For a while now, Google has championed the concept of responsive website design.  This basically means a website design that adjusts itself so that it appears in a friendly way on whatever width screen it is viewed on (smartphone, tablet, PC, etc).

Studio Devon has been designing their websites to these principles for 3 years and therefore is in an ideal position to meet this latest Google challenge head-on, either for new website builds or amending existing website designs.

A Quick Catch-up

Oops, been a bit lax in recent months and the latest news has been growing more and more out of date, so here’s a short update.

The customer portfolio has grown, with the addition of a couple of websites for a community arts and performance group in Wiltshire.  Dance Circle is a group who wanted a WordPress website that they could update themselves but needed an initial design and installation. Not a problem for us, and they were delighted with our speed and price! Sing Alive, from the same organisers, already had a substantial WordPress website but were looking to move it to a new host. Although this sounds quite daunting, it’s actually quite straightforward with WordPress and we were happy to oblige. We now supply ongoing support and backup for both sites.

Next up was a website redesign for Silchester International Investors. Not a big site but in need of a revamp and, of course, an opportunity to make it responsive so that it looks good on whatever device is viewing it, be it smartphone, tablet or conventional PC. Job done and completed last month.

New website for new business

Studio Devon was happy to help out when new counselling business Room To… asked for a website to promote their services. They wanted a clean, calm design which successfully represents their business image to potential clients.

They were extremely happy with the result, and the way we were able to respond to their comments and suggestions to the design evolution. Even better, the fully responsive fluid page layout means that the site always looks good on mobile devices with small screens. So passers-by can easily browse the website and find out more about the business instantaneously.

To experience the site for yourself, go to www.room-to.org.uk.

New Look for Kiltearn Partners

Studio Devon has built up a strong relationship with a powerful group of investment management firms. The latest company to contact us is Kiltearn Partners. They were aware that their existing website was very basic and unappealling, and wanted to add pictures and colour.

We were very happy to help them source a raft of landscape pictures that represented their company ethos and build them into a new website along with their agreed textual content. As an added bonus, we were able to make the new site responsive so that it always looks good regardless of the device being used to view it.

Kiltearn were pleasantly surprised at the ease with which this could be achieved, and even more pleased at the low cost that we charged for doing the job.

To take a look at the new-look Kiltearn website, go to www.kiltearnpartners.com.

Make it work on a Mobile

… was the overriding instruction given to us when we took on the project of revising the Babbacombe Inn’s website.

To be fair, the existing website ‘worked’ on a mobile [smartphone], just not very well. So we set about creating a responsive design that adapted itself to the browsing device. Away went the Flash graphics (not supported) and the fixed-width images, and in came fluid widths and elements that repositioned depending upon the screen width.

Take a look at the following images which show the same web page when viewed on two different width screens:

Babbacombe Inn wide screenshotBabbacombe Inn narrow screenshot

These pages are the same piece of HTML code, just styled differently by some ‘clever’ CSS. We’re proud of the result, which we think gives a striking and compelling website however you look at it.

To see for yourself, go to www.babbacombeinn.co.uk.