Get Sudsy With Pudsey: A Life-Changing Website

October 17th, 2013 in Design, Development, Web children cms need peugeot pudsey Responsive

We make a lot of websites. Our aim is for all of them to change our clients’ businesses for the better… but it’s not so often that we can claim a website of ours might change someone’s life. We’re really excited to be able to say exactly that today!

pudseyscarwash

We’ve worked in conjunction with one of our long-term clients, Peugeot, to design and build Get Sudsy with Pudsey. The website is designed to promote Peugeot’s great idea for supporting this year’s Children In Need: the UK’s largest car wash!

Peugeot is an Official Partner of the BBC charity, and is hosting car washes across the country in order to raise money for what is a great cause. Anyone who takes their car to a local Peugeot dealership will be able to donate to Children in Need in exchange for a good vehicular soak.

It doesn’t end there, either: at the launch event in Chiswick on Tuesday 5th November, none other than Peter Andre will be dipping his sponge in the bucket! People interested in running their own car wash, too, can receive special packs from Peugeot to help them get car-washing at home.

It goes without saying that we’ve built the website free of charge, and we’re happy to do our bit for this great effort. We’re even hosting our own car wash, at which Image+ staff will take a break from their screens and … well, get sudsy with Pudsey!

Children in Need supports over 2,600 projects nationwide, all with the goal of providing children with happy, safe and secure childhoods that can help them fulfil their potential. That means that every penny Peugeot can raise from their car washes will go towards changing a child’s life. We’re really proud to be a small part of that effort.

To learn more about the event, and how to get involved, you can visit the Get Sudsy website. We hear it’s pretty good…

Mobile Web Design: Websites, Faster

August 20th, 2013 in Design, Development Design load time mobile Responsive Web

Websites are many things: entertainment, social spaces, even works of art. Primarily, however, they’re sources of information, ways to communicate a message to the person who views it.

From a business perspective, this function of websites is of course key. The web can represent a significant investment for a company, so it’s important that you start getting ROI on that investment as soon as possible.

We’ve spoken before about the importance of responsive and mobile web design as a key driver of that ROI: it ensures that no user is ever bounced from your website just because it won’t work on their device of choice. We pride ourselves on producing websites that are cross-platform compatible – so that your message can get through across every and any digital medium.

That’s why the latest pronouncements from Google caught our eye. Websites are most valuable to you insofar as they communicate quickly and cleanly, grabbing a user’s attention and keeping it. To this end, in their recently published guidelines Google have adopted a ruthless ‘one second rule’ for mobile web design:

“…the whole page doesn’t have to render within this budget, instead, we must deliver and render the above the fold (ATF) content in under one second, which allows the user to begin interacting with the page as soon as possible. Then, while the user is interpreting the first page of content, the rest of the page can be delivered progressively in the background.”

Keeping on top of what Google say is a good idea in general (after all, they’re the ones who decide how to rank that site of yours!), but these new guidelines are particularly interesting. Quick-loading websites are the holy grail of designers for good reason: users are increasingly impatient, and they want their information quickly.

The challenge, though, is still to design a website which looks great, whilst keeping the load time down. Google’s guidelines are canny on this front, too: only the first part of your content, the attention-grabbing stuff, needs to load immediately. Grab your user’s attention, and let the rest load in the background until they’re read to scroll down.

We’re old hands at this sort of mobile web design trickery, and we’re always expanding our skillset to keep up with the latest developments and demands. So – whether you want a new website or to redesign your current one – drop us a line to discuss how we can ensure they say what you need to, and quickly.

Always Look Your Best: Responsive Website Design

March 8th, 2013 in Design Responsive

In the old days, it was easy: almost everyone used a PC, and almost all PCs had the same kind of display. The most difficult thing for a designer aiming to build a website that always looked its best was the size of the user’s screen.

Sleepeezee

How things change!

Websites look different depending on what you use to view them, and that poses a challenge for any web designer. The last few years alone have seen a huge explosion in the number and type of devices people use to surf the internet. Gone are the days when almost everyone would view your website in the latest version of Internet Explorer. Not only are they now more likely to be using either Chrome or Firefox – they might not even be using a computer at all.

Fifty-eight per cent of the UK population owned a smartphone in 2012, and almost a fifth owned a tablet (sales of which are likely to exceed notebooks this year). They’re heavily used, too: the average UK mobile user downloaded 424 megabytes of data last year, pushing even those eternal early adopters, the Japanese, into second place in a survey of mobile data usage. The UK is a world-leader in multi-platform web usage – and that means your website needs to keep up.

The answer is what we call ‘responsive web design’. This is how we refer to a toolbox of tricks which web designers can use to ensure your website looks its best, however it’s viewed. Responsive web design is about everything from ensuring that a site looks as good on a tiny 6” smartphone screen as it does on a 32” TFT monitor, to building the site so that when a user resizes their browser, the website shifts its content to fit – no more annoying horizontal scroll bars!

This is important because, although apps are a great way to reach phone users, it’s also true that many visitors, including mobile online shoppers, still prefer websites. In fact, we believe in responsive web design so much that this brand new site of ours is built in just that way – try it on another one of your devices, and it will look just as crisp.

A month or so ago, we launched a responsive website for Sleepeezee, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of beds and mattresses. A month after launch, their ‘bounce rate’ – a measure of how quickly a user leaves a website after arriving – is 29%, compared with an industry standard of 50%. Not only that, but the mobile bounce rate is just 32% – a full 10% below what you might expect of a non-responsive website. Those kinds of figures really do speak for themselves.

Responsive websites are smart in more ways than one. Yes, they detect your screen resolution, your platform, and your device, and are able to match themselves to what they find. But you should also think of a new user logging onto your website in the same way that you think of meeting a client for the first time: you want to look your best. In a challenging mobile market, that isn’t as easy as it used to be – but we’re still on top of it.