Responsive Web Design vs Mobile App: What Works for your Bus

Mar 31, 2016
Responsive Web Design vs Mobile App
The mobile revolution has redefined our lives. Users can now stay connected while on the go with their smart phones. This phenomenon is now compelling companies to rethink business strategies. It is now mobile-first approach that works. However, this shift from desktop to mobile requires designers and developers to take a 360 degree approach with focus on mobile. There are several different ways to create an effective presence on the web such as responsive web design, native apps, mobile web apps or a dedicated mobile site.Each approach has inherent advantages and downsides, development frameworks, and appropriate use cases. It is important that you take the right approach that meets your requirements and business goals.Mobile Web App App Developers often create websites for large screens, overlooking the fact of how the site will look when a user browses the website from a mobile device. Too much of zooming or resizing while viewing site from a mobile phone makes website difficult to navigate. As a result, several companies build separate version of websites specifically for users who access the site from mobile devices. The primary advantage of mobile website is that the site is optimized for viewing on mobiles and tablets.A mobile web app depends heavily on the browser and its ability to render the application. On the other hand, native mobile app depends heavily on the device and its ability to render the application. Ultimately, mobile web app produces looks and functions just like a native app, only different part is that it is rendered through a mobile browser.A mobile web app combines the benefits of a regular mobile site, working across browsers and a wide range of devices with the features supported by native apps. Mobile web apps support features provided by native apps such as offline browsing, location-based services and much more.Mobile web apps are web-based, making them compatible with key smart phones, making it easy to reach out to a large mobile audience.On The Flipside: One of the biggest challenges for mobile web apps is getting discovered. What’s the point of web app, if users don’t know that your app exists? Finding a mobile web app with great functionality and user experience continues to be an uphill task.Mobile web apps can only perform at optimum level at high speed internet connection and/or WiFi. They don't function on older devices and browsers. As a result, you better hope people with latest smartphone and tablets visit your app.Responsive Web Design It’s unthinkable to build a website that is not responsive. Responsive website design an “approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones)” This technique is now the new standard and the default option for all websites. RWD comes with Google’s strong recommendation. Google states that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, and even backs responsive web design as industry best practice.When it comes to technology the framework comprises of a combination of flexible grids, flexible layouts, images and CSS media queries. As a result, when the user switches from once device to another, the website adapts to changing resolution and image size.On the flipside Designing a website using Responsive Web Design takes longer than building a normal website. If your website is already built using the normal website approach, rebuilding it using Responsive Web Design will add to your woes.Which approach is right for you? Well, everything boils down to your business goals and what you are trying to achieve with your website or app. Responsive web design provides optimum viewing across multiple screen sizes and devices with a single code base. It is low on maintenance and improves SEO. On the other hand, mobile web app provides faster implementation and provides better user experience.Before you take a plunge, remember building a site using either approach requires you to take into account user needs. Don’t just blindly emulate trends. Think about users FIRST.
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What is Material Design UI & How to Take it to the Next

Oct 09, 2015
When it comes to design trends in the tech world, Apple continues to dominate. Ever since its inception, Apple products sport a trademark design which is simple to use, clean and fun. After all, Apple’s founder late Steve Jobs famously said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”Design aesthetics set Apple class apart from technology giants such as Google and Microsoft and make it “the most valuable company in the world.” However, recently Apple has moved down from the market-leading position, making room for several design concepts. The company bid farewell to skeuomorphic design with the release of iOS 7 to embrace the flat design concept.  Microsoft spearheaded the revolution with its flat design, geometric, and vibrant colored Metro UI. But Apple’s adoption of flat design took this concept to the masses.While skeuomorphic design looked cheesy and outdated trying to create a real-life metaphor in a literal sense, flat design wasn’t functional to solve UI design problems across different platforms.Google pitched in later and went a step further bringing the card-based aesthetics of material design. Google released Material Design with Android Lollipop at its 2014 I/O conference. Material design is not another design language rather a visual language that guided design and interaction. Material design is a guide for visual, motion, and interaction design across platforms and devices.Principles Guiding Material Design“Material is the metaphor”
  The basic concept is that material design tries to conceive what actual materials in this digital device would look and behave like.  The fundamentals of light, surface, and movement convey how objects move, interact, and exist in space and in relation to each other.This design concept does not consider your device screen as a two-dimensional plane which effectively means that objects can move around in — not just laterally, but from the back of your device to the surface.“Bold, graphic, intentional”
  The visual treatment in material design is guided by the core foundational elements of print-based design such as “typography, grids, space, scale, color, and use of imagery.” It is not just about eye appealing design, but creating hierarchy and providing meaning, as well as enhancing focus.Ultimately in order to create an immersive user experience everything boils down to making right color choices, imagery, large typography, and white space. With the core emphasis on user actions, functionality becomes obvious and apparent.“Motion provides meaning”
  Motion considers and reinforces user as the prime mover and actions of the users are points that initiate motion which completely transform the design. Actions take place in a single environment. Motion is appropriate and serves to focus attention and maintain continuity.Card-Based Design: User Centric Approach
  Google’s Material design is based on and heavily influenced by card-based design which is already a trend. This design approach tries to deemphasize menu and button-based user interface design. Card-based design gives users a more informed, personalized and curated experience. This method reduces burden on the users to navigate through layers of content, instead user gets focused information based on behavior/interests such as likes and searches.In order to make things simpler, Google recently launched Material Design Lite which is a lightweight implementation of Material Design and is very easy to install with very few dependencies.  Now we understand where the word “Lite” comes from. Material Design Lite is a library of front-end components that makes it easy to apply Material Design elements to standard HTML, JavaScript, and CSS.Is Material Design for you?Let your design principles help you take a final call. It is important that your apps are not only visually appealing, but intuitive. You need to take embrace the strengths of each platform whether it is iOS, Android, or Mac.Striking a great balance between your app’s style and core features of the device or OS you’re building will make your app an absolute delight for users.What is the future of material Design? How will the experts at Google refine material design? This is a question only time will tell. However, the principles of material design are practical and its results beautiful enough for the designers to look into and give it a serious thought. The principles transcend beyond Android-only version and can help you even if you design for iOS.  
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