No sooner had we launched our brand spanking new website than we made a grievous discovery. When visiting The Rose Hotel website from smart phones and tablets, such as the iPad, the text and imagery were not displaying properly on mobile devices. The site’s pages had a different (and not so attractive) look than when accessed from a full-scale computer.
This was definitely a problem, and one that was only going to grow larger because of the proliferation of mobile devices being used to access the internet. Already, 38 percent of media consumption is being done from smart phones, and a significant amount of media is also being consumed from tablets like the iPad. What’s more, retail statistics show that PC sales have declined for 15 consecutive months while the sale of smart phones and tablets have continued to rocket. Kelsey Research Group has forecast that in 2015 the majority of web searches will be conducted from mobile devices rather than laptop and desktop computers.
Add to all that a Rose Hotel clientele that is well educated, well-heeled and technologically adept, and the problem looms even larger.
But that problem was so last week. This week we have put the final piece of our website upgrade into place and solved the problem. You might be reading this blog post from a mobile device right now and have noticed that it is displaying just fine and dandy.
That is thanks to the implementation of something called “responsive design,” a technological wrinkle that makes our site accessible from most any device and adapts the layout (and in some cases the content) to the device being used. In essence, our site now recognizes the type of device you’re using to access our contents and gives you the appropriate page display. This includes scaling images and content to fit smaller device screens. Navigation is also modified based on the device. For example, the size of hyperlinks might be increased for mobile devices, making it easier to click a link. Navigation schemes are also customized for different sized devices. Example: The primary navigation menu is moved from the page header to the page footer for smart phones and reformatted as buttons.
This means we have to manage just one set of content for The Rose Hotel site but, when necessary, it is modified to display on your screen in a way that maximizes your user experience. And it improves our search engine optimization.
Pretty cool, huh?
Technology is advancing quickly and, just like you, we’re committed to keeping pace. This is our latest volley but surely not our last.