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Pageant website - a mobile future?

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Does the Pageant website need reconfiguring for mobile devices?
 

For a few years now we have been wondering if we should reconfigure our website to make it smart-phone friendly. Smart-phones have small screens, typically 4” to 5”, and a lower resolution, which means that sideways scrolling is needed to view our pages. Looking at website statistics for the year 2013, only 3.3% of hits were definitely from mobile devices (includes both smart-phones and tablets). We don't know if there is little demand from smart-phone users, or if they are just put off looking at our site by the pain of reading our pages. Though 3.3% is an increase on 2012's 2.0% we still don't think this a big enough proportion to justify reconfiguring our website.

Meanwhile sales of tablet computers in the USA have now exceeded sales of PCs – both desktops and laptops. Sales of PCs remained fairly constant from 2010 to 2012, and then declined over 2013, whereas tablet sales have climbed steadily from 2010.

Tablets have larger screens than smart-phones, typically 7” to 14”. They usually have touch-screen technology, without a conventional keyboard. Many tablets have screen resolutions of 1366 x 768. Pageant's web pages were designed with a width of 610 pixels, though there are float down menus on the right, which can add up to 250 pixels. (This decision was taken in the mists of time when printing wider web pages would result in their right hand edges being lost.) As a consequence, all of Pageant's pages will display well on tablets in either orientation, with no need to scroll horizontally to read the text.

The big news over Christmas was that sales of tablets rocketed both here and in the USA. It seems that most of these tablets were for children. Young children find the tablet and its touch-screen operation intuitive. Tablet prices have tumbled, and it's now possible to buy one for 80. It is claimed that about half of UK households now have a tablet, and this proportion will increase with falling prices. Kids will now grow up used to a large screen mobile device. Though they will quickly acquire a phone, they probably won't abandon their tablet. Most children aged 8-13 already have three or more media devices of their own. If, as predicted, tablets become very widely used, then we don't have an imperative to reconfigure the website.

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If you are reading this on a smart-phone or other mobile device, then please let us know what you are using and how easy (or otherwise) it is to use our website. Please send an email to  with your comments

 

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