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Display of screen sizes as compiled by Aram Bartholl

Display of screen sizes as compiled by Aram Bartholl


To your clients you speak Martian
As web designers you are immersed in web design and the technologies that drive it. You know about responsive web design. After all you are an early adopter in all things internet. This means you have an eye out for new stuff that could impact on your web design business. If you are not doing this then anticipate that your web design business is going to stagnate or even die.

And in general it’s this constant new stuff that keeps web designers enthusiastic. There are brand new challenges to meet and to overcome on an almost daily basis. It’s therefore no surprise to web designers in general that a new frontier should arrive pretty quickly after the web finally arrived at their client’s door step.

A reluctance by traditional advertising agencies to accept the web
It’s taken a while for the traditional design industry to wake up to the web. Even ten years ago there were still advertising agencies who didn’t think the internet was going to matter to their clients and were convinced their clients wouldn’t need a website.

A few years down the line and finally advertising agencies are bending a little and accepting that the web will need to be incorporated into their client’s marketing, sales and promotional strategies.

Hardly had they gotten used to the concept of an online presence for their business and Steve Jobs with the launch of the iPhone changed the landscape again.

Enter Responsive Web Design
Enter smart phones and tablets and the entire web scenery has changed in one monumental way. The screen on which your customers are viewing your website can be one of thousands of size options. Never mind the gadget’s operating system. In fact Facebook have stats that shows that approximately 7 000 different gadgets are used when members use their community website.

This effectively means that anybody who has a website that does not accommodate different gadgets such as smartphones or tablets is irritating and alienating their visitors.

Client’s are not on the same page
In the same way as ad agencies are finally waking up to the marketing opportunities the web presents to businesses your client’s are only still making baby steps when considering the web as their business tool.

You might be in the frontline of development and new trends but your clients are not. They are heavily involved in their business and the trends within their product or service industries. They do not have time to keep up to speed with what is happening in the web design environment.

Responsive Web Design needs to be explained
You have to explain more. When you speak of responsive web design or convert your website to mobile your client’s do not have any idea as to what you are talking about. You could be speaking Martian or Klingon. In general they will also not want to sound ignorant after all they all know what a smartphone is or where tablets fit into the scene.

But what effect these gadgets have on their website and how it is being viewed is something they have no concept of. You have to explain more. Possibly also demonstrate more and send samples. And furthermore you have to explain that because the web is fluid and open to quick changes they need to be more flexible and open to changing their web presence accordingly.

A print brochure can be around for a while. A website has a definite limited shelf life. You need to get used to the idea that you might need to change your website more regularly. At this stage, it’s imperative you convert your website to mobile. And be prepared. More technology inspired changes to come!

A Stat that will blow your hair back
And in case you don’t believe this, then check this stat. Did you know this? Did you anticipate this when you worked on your website strategy? Nobody did…

42 percent of smartphone owners between the ages of 18 and 29 consider their phone as their primary way of accessing the internet (from Pew Internet)