Lets face it, the internet is chock full of horrible websites. Many sites still lack a responsive design, have a poor user interface, are confusing to navigate, and/or have poorly built functionality that has not been properly tested. So when you do stumble upon a great website it makes the experience all the sweeter. But how is a great website created? What separates a great website from just an average one?
Tragic Media recently launched a major responsive overhaul for one of our longest running clients, SportRx. SportRx is an online retailer of prescription eyewear working directly with major eyewear manufacturers to provide the best quality prescription sports eyewear available. Our contributions to their Magento e-commerce platform have helped them reach the top spot in their market space, and are now the largest online prescription eyewear retailer in the US.
With the shock of Google's Mobilegedon finally starting to sink in, more and more business owners are understanding the importance of making their websites responsive. Unfortunately, many of them are only focused on their search ranking and are not seeing the bigger picture. Making your website responsive is important, but just because your website 'responds' does not mean that your website is mobile friendly.
Ugly E-Commerce - A Brief History
In the beginning, website were built with tables. Tables nested in tables on top of tables next to tables with even more tables! Using tables as the main markup structure of a webpage was a developer's defense against display inconsistencies across early web browsers. As the web evolved most content management systems (CMS) moved away from a tables in favor of more flexible and standards compliant markup structure. However most e-commerce systems took many years to follow suite. Back when Tragic first started working with e-commerce there were very low expectations for the front-end display and optimization of online shopping. Nearly all stores existed in a world of horribly nested tables that were unmanageable and very difficult to style. Even large brands that we worked with like TaylorMade adidas Golf, which used the Yahoo Store platform, had horrible management and development capabilities over their product display and checkout flow.
There is a common trend among small to medium-sized creative agencies to work solely with WordPress for all of their website projects. At Tragic Media we have worked with WordPress since version 2 and Drupal since version 5, so we have watched first-hand as both of these content management systems (CMS) have evolved into the robust platforms that they are today. We don't force our projects into one solution, instead when we begin a new website we start by examining all of the requirements for the site build as well as possible upgrades and additions that may be required in the future.
In the past few years the number of mobile device users going online has increased dramatically. This new change in web demographics has made it imperative to make one’s website cross-device compatible. The majority of websites on the web are at least viewable on mobile devices; however, the interface is rarely mobile optimized and often makes navigating web content frustrating, if not impossible for mobile users. To handle this new demographic of devices, two design philosophies began to emerge: Responsive Design and Adaptive Design.