Designing Websites – Browser Considerations
When creating a new website there are many factors that most site visitors would never notice that need to be considered. One, is what the site visitors will be using to view the website. That’s right – browsers. In order to visit websites we will all access the internet using a browser of some kind. Which one can depend on personal preference, company policy or sometimes, when/if you’ve ever updated/upgraded your current system or computer. Browsers are basically programs that take the coding from the website files, translate it and put it together in a viewer to present the information in a palatable manner. Not all browsers are created equal and will interpret website coding differently, albeit slightly. Thus difference will result in moderate differences in how the website looks depending on the browser, screen size or even which version of the browser.
This is the norm. As technology changes websites need to be versatile enough to accommodate these changes as well as be usable with the ‘old’ technology. Don’t kid yourself. Your site viewers do not all have the latest and greatest on their computer. Many are still using older browsers and programs and you need to ensure you are presenting well to them as well.
Browser Market Penetration
You Should Know….
Some key points to be aware of and ensure your developer is also in tune with.
Something to Think About
We pay a dentist to know how to treat our teeth and any issues that we may have. Rarely do we know more or assume to know more than the dentist. This is usually the same when it comes to web design. As a company, our focus and area or expertise is marketing and WordPress sites. As a result we stay on top of trends and best practises and know our stuff. With this we know the balance that needs to be achieved with website development. The bottom line always comes down to making it sell to visitors.
Browser updates can and will affect how your website is interpreted. Updating is, therefore, important in order to ensure your site is both safe from unauthorized access and is seen the best way possible.
They are not gone. People and companies still use older browsers so these need to be considered in the development process. When working with a WordPress site, most good themes will take this into consideration.
There is a thought that the extra code may increase site load times. Honestly, not an issue. Any increase is maybe a fraction of a second so not a concern.
WordPress vs. Custom
Yes, custom sites can be developed that allow for extreme fine tuning as to browsers and how sites display on each one. Expect to pay 3-5 times more for these. Personally – we believe it’s not worth it in most cases.
People fall, generally, into one of five categories when it comes to technology. Note the percentages and consider how/who your target market really is.
• Innovators 2.5%
• Early Adopters 13.5%
• Early Majority 34%
• Late Majority 34%
• Laggards 16%
Innovators are the first individuals to adopt an innovation. Innovators are willing to take risks, youngest in age, have the highest social class, have great financial lucidity, very social and have closest contact to scientific sources and interaction with other innovators. Risk tolerance has them adopting technologies which may ultimately fail. Financial resources help absorb these failures. (Rogers 1962 5th ed, p. 282)
This is the second fastest category of individuals who adopt an innovation. These individuals have the highest degree of opinion leadership among the other adopter categories. Early adopters are typically younger in age, have a higher social status, have more financial lucidity, advanced education, and are more socially forward than late adopters. More discrete in adoption choices than innovators. Realize judicious choice of adoption will help them maintain central communication position (Rogers 1962 5th ed, p. 283).
Individuals in this category adopt an innovation after a varying degree of time. This time of adoption is significantly longer than the innovators and early adopters. Early Majority tend to be slower in the adoption process, have above average social status, contact with early adopters, and seldom hold positions of opinion leadership in a system (Rogers 1962 5th ed, p. 283)
Individuals in this category will adopt an innovation after the average member of the society. These individuals approach an innovation with a high degree of skepticism and after the majority of society has adopted the innovation. Late Majority are typically skeptical about an innovation, have below average social status, very little financial lucidity, in contact with others in late majority and early majority, very little opinion leadership.
Individuals in this category are the last to adopt an innovation. Unlike some of the previous categories, individuals in this category show little to no opinion leadership. These individuals typically have an aversion to change-agents and tend to be advanced in age. Laggards typically tend to be focused on “traditions”, likely to have lowest social status, lowest financial fluidity, be oldest of all other adopters, in contact with only family and close friends, very little to no opinion leadership.
Why this information?
Knowing this makes the developmental process a logical process and not just a random shot in the dark. Bold statements as to what should and should not be done with/in websites are irrelevant if not backed-up by facts. Reaching a broader audience and not alienating your clients is important when doing proper market research and development.
User Experience Research
You may think your clients are all in one specific category but the truth is they are likely not. A good marketing / website development company will not assume. All angles should be covered and considered.
Process and Design
The variety of browsers comes into play when considering placement details. What fits perfectly on one browser may not be the exact placement in another. Then mobile devices need to be considered and planned on. Yes, your visitors WILL use mobile devices to access your site. When on the way to a meeting or coming from one it’s the best way to do quick research. Be ready and responsive.
These are just SOME of the considerations that a good web developer will understand and work through when designing your website. If you would like to know more or have any questions, please fee free to contact us anytime. We’re more than happy to help and hopefully work with you. 🙂
Mailing Address: 47 Cedarbrook Close SW Calgary, Alberta T2W 5B8