And most importantly, how does it effect you and your business?
When it comes to designing a website for a world with ever changing technology, there are some considerations that have to be addressed. Two of the main ones are:
Making sure that your site has alternate content for those browsers/devices that do not support Flash.
Although your site might look great in your favorite browser on your computer, iPhones, iPads, and many browsers within corporate Intranets cannot display Flash Animation. What does this mean?
- If your site’s navigation is embedded in Flash animation, nobody will be able to navigate your site.
- If you have a nice Flash animation integrated into the site, it will not display.
- If you site was completely developed in Flash, it won’t display.
OK – as you probably know, WE LOVE Flash, so there are some techniques available to overcome these limitations:
- Create alternate content that will be displayed on those devices/browsers that do not support Flash.
- Ask your web designer to use SWFObject (http://code.google.com/p/swfobject/) to assist in displaying alterate content for those browsers/devices that do not support Flash
- Avoid using Adobe Flash for your site’s main navigation.
- If your budget supports it, have an alternate version of your site that is optimized for mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad, and for browsers that do not support Flash. A technology like Browser Hawk or Browser Hawk to Go can automatically detect a particular device that a person is using and re-direct them appropriately. You can learn more about Browser Hawk at http://www.cyscape.com/.
Making sure that your site looks good in the major web browsers (even older ones)
There is nothing like going to one of your big clients and asking them to check out information on your web site, only to learn that they are unable to view your content because the site won’t display properly in their web browser. Until a year or so ago, the only way to test how a site looked in the major browsers on both PCs and Macs was to have a test station with Mac and PC versions of all of the latest browsers installed. This is where Adobe Browser Lab comes to the rescue. This online service allows testing your site in a wide range of browsers designed for the Mac and the PC. We have found these to be an invaluable resource for helping us to ensure that the sites we create look great on PCs and Macs prior to making them live. You can learn more about Adobe Browser Lab and sign up for a free trial of Adobe CS Live Services (if you do so by 4/30/11) by going to: https://browserlab.adobe.com/en-us/index.html#
These are just a couple of the considerations that need to be considered when designing a web site that looks great on all major browsers, and functions properly on mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad. Check out our next issue of Top Results for even more tips and tricks.