Q&A: Device Detection with Chris Abbott from DetectRight

Responsive web design is such the hot topic these days and it clearly has it’s proponents and detractors. One common complaint about RWD has to do with the size of site and the impact that has on performance. It’s all too common to find responsive sites sending the same amount of information to mobile devices as they do to desktops. Device detection services and techniques can help us optimize our content and serve the right data to the right device.

At this point you amy be saying, “Isn’t one point of RWD to have a single code base and to deliver the same content to everyone?” The answer is yes and at the same time no. Yes, people are often looking for the same content regardless of what they use to view your site. No, they don’t want that 1800 x 1200 pixel full screen background image sent to their phone.

This is where detection techniques can come in to solve for those problems. Adapting content in a way that provides an optimized but not reduced way. We are not taking anything away because someone is using a smaller device. We simply want to optimize what is sent in order to maintain a good performance and in turn good user experience.

Today I’ve asked Chris Abbott, Mobile Detection and Analytics Expert, from DetectRight to answer some questions about the role of device detection, dispel some misconceptions and how device detection can help in developing optimal web experiences.

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Story Telling: Signal in a Web of Noise

WordCamp 2013 Recap Day 1 (Sat.)

I can sum up my key takeaway from WordCamp Miami’s Saturday sessions in a single word – stories. Several talks throughout the designer and user tracks really boiled down to the importance of stories to engage users and drive business. Stories that cut through the noise of the web, provide real value and connect with people. Two talks in particular truly embodied this idea.

The Importance of Storytelling in Web Design

In this talk Denise Jacobs spoke of power and necessity of storytelling. Here are some of the key points from that talk.

“The universe is made of stories, not atoms.” Muriel Rukeyser, Speed of Darkness

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Interviewed for Responsive Design for Web Apps

I was recently interviewed for an article on addressing multi-device strategies of web apps for Smartbear Software’s blog. Specifically, responsive design and how it can help deliver an app to the largest possible market. It’s a nice piece but I would like to further clarify my statements.

Article: Making Mobile Applications Alternate-Device Aware

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WordCamp Miami 2013: WordPress Beginners Workshop

Nothing will prepare you for success better then a solid foundation of the fundamentals of a given skill. Whether you want to play football, start your own business, or code WordPress websites, the fundamentals are the building blocks of success. This workshop offered many great building blocks to get beginners off on the right foot and even offered experienced developers a few reminders why it’s good to go back to the beginning every now and again.

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Creating a Brand Persona to Build Consumer Loyalty

Nailing down exactly what defines a brand can be tricky. Is it defined by fonts, colors, graphics and logos? Is it defined by the words and tone in the written and verbal messaging? What exactly does a brand represent anyway? A brand persona can help us define that and we’ll get to that in just a bit.

A brand is not unlike an individual’s personality. In its highest form a brand reflects the core beliefs of the company, person or products it represents much like our personality reflects our personal beliefs. The most enduring brands are the ones that have a clearly defined set of beliefs and values. In other words they are clear about what they stand for. More importantly it’s clear to their audience and this is where true brand loyalty comes from. Does your audience know what your brand stands for?

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Responsive Web Design: What Businesses and Clients Need to Know.

If you’ve looked into designing or redesigning a website recently you’ve likely heard the phrase responsive web design, or RWD for short, thrown about. Responsive has been receiving quite a bit of buzz these days and for very good reason. But do you really know what’s involved, how it can help you or why it’s such a hot topic? If not, you’re not alone.

Much has been written on the subject by experts and amateurs alike. Unfortunately many of the experts tend to focus on how to build a responsive site and the articles are heavy on techno-jargon. The amateurs who often try to explain RWD in layman’s terms mean well but often lack the deep understanding to properly communicate important details of the subject leading to confusion about how and when to use it. My goal here is to clear things up and arm you with the information you need to decide if responsive is your best option and how to find the right person or company to help you with it.

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Book Review: Made to Stick

Why Some Ideas Survive and Other Die

By Chip & Dan Heath

Do you know why urban legends stay around forever? Why we all know the story of the poor guy that meets a pretty girl in the hotel lounge and wakes up hours later missing his kidney? Why the story of Jared from Subway was such a great success? Chip and Dan Heath break down the things that make for sticky ideas in a way that becomes easy to apply in our own communications.

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