Facebook has a waiting list of volunteers for their upcoming transition. In a list by TheNextWeb.com, BBC, Time and even Disney have made the changes. It’s the dawn of Responsive Web Design. This may be good news for gadget fanatics especially in countries like Germany. In a demographic study by Ciklum.com, “smartphone penetration will reach 55% in EU5 (United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain) which is equal to 132 million users”. The internet is no longer just for PCs. Majority of Germans are Android or Apple gadgets users. On that note, websites now have the responsibility to be accessible in any screen dimension.
Responsive Web Design (RWD) simply means using “media queries to figure out what resolution of device it’s being served on,” according to web expert and RWD revamped website Mashable.com. It is to craft websites enabling optimal viewing experience. No resizing, no overlaps, no grittiness. Many sites, given their popularity and high traffic, go slow with the change, like social media giant Facebook, online gaming leader partypoker de, and social media blog innovator Tumblr. For partypoker per se, they have been successful in following the footsteps of social media innovators in making their website more community-based, even going further as ascertaining specific countries to feel at home via their language options like having a Deutsch version for Germany.
Aside from being a secure provider of online poker tournaments, the site serves as a gathering for game card aficionados from novices all the way to card specialists. With their network, they are able to update and inform their users of the latest events in the world of poker, given that such game has even branched out to international tournaments like the European Poker Tour Berlin. They already provide thematic connections to social media sites allowing their community to be updated whether they are browsing in their laptop, iPad or Android phones. Their adaptation to an RWD would surely be more fruitful for their cause.
Slowly but Surely
Changes cannot be sudden given demographics like the ones shown by Ciklum.com. “Of all mobile devices bought in the EU5 region which includes Germany, in October 2012, 73% were smartphones. The smartphone landscape is dominated by Google Android (59% of all new devices), followed by Apple iOS (22%). Tablets reached 15% penetration of smartphone user base with iPads holding 60% of the total tablet market,” and that’s just in the European region alone. In order not to shock users of any sudden changes turning known web territories to non-user-friendly sites, leaders like Facebook are taking it slow in changing their interface. To prepare the millions of FB users, the social network conglomerate has first announced publicly their intended changes for their Newsfeed section, which was then followed up with a “recruitment” of user volunteers who would want to have the first-time experience of the new feature.
Looking into the details of the change, FB aims to create a networking experience that can be done so in uniform, with all smoothness, and in across any type of browser, PC, laptop, tablet or mobile. RWD is not a trend started by the social network forerunner, but the measured pace of transition would surely be a step many popular websites could follow.