Pixl8 have recently completed a mobile project for SciDev.Net (the Science and Development Network). The project involved a complex process covering initial research, client workshops, design and the development of light-weight responsive templates to meet a range of mobile device screen sizes and resolutions.
SciDev.Net is a not-for-profit organization and registered charity, dedicated to providing reliable and authoritative information about science and technology for the developing world. Their main office is in London but they also have a worldwide network of registered users, advisors, consultants and freelance journalists, predominantly from developing countries, who drive their activities and vision.
As many of SciDev’s users are spread across the developing world with limited and often extremely slow internet connections, the file size of the mobile site was crucial to the success of the project. Extensive research enabled us to set a bold target file size to be the benchmark for the site which was constantly challenged during both the design and development phases of work. In addition to file size awareness, Pixl8 were also required to ensure almost every type of mobile device was catered for – from first generation mobile phones (Popular in the developing world) to today’s modern smartphones. This was achieved using media queries’ to detect the screen size of the device being used and change the design and layout to suit.
Another challenge, one that is common for all mobile projects was the task of prioritizing content for the reduced screen real estate that is available. One solution has involved the clever use of drop down menus, helping to maintain easy navigation without the luxury of hover over functionality. The project, which was completed earlier this year has been a great success, improving access to SciDev’s online offerings from across the globe.
To discover just how effective these mobile templates are, have a look at SciDev’s website here; using your mobile device of course, they are incredibly fast to load with a Google page speed rating of 83! (out of 100)