Keeping Consistent on the Splinternet
02.08.11 · Sonia Greteman
Developing a website has never been more schizophrenic. Today’s many emerging technologies simultaneously empower and challenge website owners, designers and developers in their quest to create an effective communication channel. With the recent proliferation of mobile and alternative, web-enabled devices (tablets, TVs and touch screens – “Oh my!”) the charge to deliver a website on today’s “splinternet” has become even more demanding.
The Web At Their Fingertips
Beyond differences in software, the way people interface with websites has recently undergone a major transformation. What we now call the “natural user interface” is quickly becoming the platform of choice for many of today’s devices. Popularized by the iPhone and similar products, people have begun to surf with their fingers, rather than a mouse and a computer. This has all kinds of unique implications for elements of web design – menus, buttons, text etc.
One Website, Lots of Ways To View It
Every unique software/hardware setup has its own way of rendering a website. A user on a Windows PC who is browsing the Internet using Internet Explorer will more than likely to see a slightly different version of the same website when compared to somebody browsing in Safari on a Mac.
Before a website launches at Greteman Group, we subject it to a litany of tests and tweaks, oftentimes resulting in several, slightly varied versions of the same site. Fortunately, advances in modern web coding have saved us from having to completely redo the site for each set of circumstances. Just a little bit of clever code and the same content can be repurposed across a broad spectrum of outlets.
Our rule of thumb: It doesn’t have to look exactly the same on every device (because frankly, it just won’t) – but it does have to look great and work well.