Why Responsive Websites Trump Dedicated Mobile Sites

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If you’re in the market for a website, you’ve probably determined that it needs to work on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. There are two general approaches to meet your website’s mobile needs: A dedicated mobile website or a responsive website.

What is a dedicated mobile website?

A dedicated mobile website uses code to determine what type of device your viewer is viewing the website on, and then redirects them to a website that is dedicated for those devices.

Commonly, this method detects if your device is a desktop or a mobile device. This approach allows you to cater each site specifically to the group devices it is being used on....

The Illustrated Brand: The Case for Custom Illustration


What does Academic Matters have in common with The New Yorker magazine, American Express and Porter Airlines? They all rely heavily on custom illustration as a key visual branding tool. With today’s proliferation of stock photography and desktop publishing, custom illustration is one way these organizations, like many others, are able to put plenty of branding distance between themselves and their competitors.

The illustrated brand has staying power
The New Yorker’s enviable stable of illustrators and cartoonists has included many generations of top American talent. At the mere mention of The New Yorker’s name, I dare you to not let an image of one of its covers or cartoons pop into your head....

Introducing We Teach Ontario

We Teach Ontario

Some people want to separate teaching and research at our universities. If you take research away from higher learning, you not only hurt students, but communities and the economy as well.

The link between teaching and research is at the heart of Ontario’s universities. Together, teaching and research help students learn more and learn better. Together, teaching and research kick-starts economies, builds thriving communities, and improves lives. Every day, Ontario’s professors connect teaching and research to produce great results for students and Ontario.

This is the core message behind We Teach Ontario, the public awareness campaign just launched by OCUFA (the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations) and designed by Neglia Design....

Getting the Most Out of Google Analytics: Are You Measuring the Right Things?

If you're using Google Analytics to track visitors to your website, you might have noticed there's a lot of data to look through when you log into that Analytics dashboard. Perhaps you keep life simple and just look through the default metrics that Google offers up on the first page. You know the ones - # of visitors, pages per visit, visit duration, bounce rate, visitor's country, etc. These do offer insight into the overall popularity of your website, but they aren't necessarily the most useful in guiding your online strategies. Looking at the right numbers will help you refine your online strategies in specific and useful ways. Here's a summary of what I learned from ISL's Matthew Cooper, speaking at the 2012 AIM Conference in Halifax.

The New Rules of SEO: What You Need to Know About Getting to the Top

Google Homepage
So you want Google searchers to find your website on the first page of their search results. It's simple right? Hire a Search Engine Optimization expert to perform some black magic and there you have it; your website is higher on the list, your traffic is up, a job well done! If only it were that easy. SEO has changed, and continues to evolve. Google is getting smarter - trying to "game the system" is no longer cutting it because Google punishes websites that are "over-optimized". So what now? It's the question every website owner wants answered: How does Google rank their search results and how can I get higher on the list? The answer is both simple and complex.

Bringing data to life: Telling better stories with Infographics

Telling Better Stories with Infographics
“It feels like we’re all suffering from information overload or data glut—and the good news is that there may be an easy solution to that—and that’s using our eyes more. Visualizing information so we can see the patterns and connections that matter. And then designing that information so it makes sense, or tells a story or allows us to focus only on the information that’s important”. -David McCandless on TED.com How well can visuals tell a story? Here are just a few of the key infographics we did for The Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Toronto. See if you can get a sense of the sheer scale and nature of DFCM and their many accomplishments—all through the power of visuals.

The Power of Storytelling: Content Strategy Advice from the Experts

Small leather baby shoes, in black and white

Legend has it that Ernest Hemingway once bet his colleagues he could write a complete story in less than ten words. His colleagues balked as they each put $10 on the table. Then Hemingway wrote a few words on a napkin. What he wrote illustrates some important principles about storytelling, which is a key component of a strong content strategy. Hemingway passed the napkin around the table, and it read, simply:

For Sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Photo: Simon McEdlowney

In only 6 words, Hemingway had crafted the shortest story every told, and a powerfully resonant one at that.This really illustrates how efficiently words can be used and reminds us that emotional impact is central to great story telling. ...

3 Things You Should Know About Information Architecture

If you’re planning on building a new website, there’s something you should know: it involves dancing. See, there is a dance that goes on any time a successful website is developed. Among the dancers are two critical practices that intertwine: graphic design and information architecture. Graphic design is well appreciated, but what is this “information architecture?” What does it mean to spend time architecting information?

Information architecture is the business of anticipating users’ needs and expectations, and then organizing & labeling the website to maximize useability and findability. The information architect’s goal is to ensure that the information on the website is appropriate for the intended audiences, that it is easy to find, that the site’s navigation is intuitive, and that the page layouts are logical and consistent....

Confused About Mobile-Friendly Websites? The 6 Features That Really Matter.

iPhone

When the iPhone was first released, one of its many innovative features was that it could display a full-sized website that had been designed for a desktop monitor, and shrink it down to the size of the phone’s screen, without breaking the design or layout. Of course the text at that level was generally too small to read, so one was required to zoom in to the desired portion of the page to read text or click links. This isn’t very mobile-friendly, but this is how most websites are still experienced on mobile phones today. Thankfully, things are rapidly evolving.

It has now become quite common for popular websites to offer mobile visitors a separate mobile version of their site (e.g....

8 Critical Questions When Planning Your Company Website

Website Planning

Have you been asked to develop or renew your company’s website? It can be a daunting task, with so many decisions to make along the way to launch date. Whether you’re a novice or web veteran, a successful website begins with a good plan to keep you on track, on message, and on budget.

We’ve prepared eight key questions to get you started. Spend some time to answer them fully, and you’ll be well on your way to making a website that will do you, your team, and your company proud….

Going to Press – What You Need to Know

The concept, writing and design are done. Now, how do we make this look its best on paper?

First we start with the paper. How substantive of a piece do we want this to be? Does it show through an issue because of heavy coverage?….. if so, we go on a heavier weight paper. Is there a lot of reading to be done?…if so we consider the glare and ease on the eyes and use a matte or uncoated paper.

Now, which printer to use. We need to consider which equipment can produce this with the most cost and quality efficiency....

It’s Time to Start Managing Your Website Without Code or Special Software

So you’d like to get a shiny new website…and you want to be able to add and edit the content yourself? Well then, make sure you’re website has a Content Management System (CMS) built in, or else you’ll have to call up your website designer every time you need to make a change (or rely on a tech-savvy relative who knows how to program HTML code). With the right CMS, you’ll quickly find that managing your own website can be fun and empowering!

Need Help Choosing a Content Management System? Why You Should Consider Open-Source.

So you’ve been tasked with getting a new website built. Well if you don’t know already, you’ve actually been tasked with getting two websites built. The first website is the public site that members of the public see when they visit your web address. The second website is just for you and your team; it’s the content management system (CMS) that you will use to update the content on your public site.  If there’s one thing you should know about it, it’s that the development of your CMS should get just as much attention as the rest of your web development project....