Mobile: A Serious Contender to the Desktop Computer


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Mobile is certainly the big craze at the moment in the web industry. With the introduction of mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPad, and various other smart phones and tablets, the demand for websites to be ‘mobile friendly’ has never been greater. The purpose of this article is to highlight the impact mobile devices have had on web design in recent years. The article looks at various aspects such as best practices, challenges and design trends as well as taking a look at what may lie ahead for the future of mobile web design.

Mobile Conception

Motorola launched the world’s first commercially available mobile telephone, the DynaTAC 8000X, in 1983. Despite initially being affordable only to a privileged few and, by today’s standards, little about the device actually lending itself to mobility – not least its unwieldy brick-like size and weight – the Motorola 8000X nevertheless represented a major world-changing advance in the way we communicate.

In the 30 years or so since the 8000X went on sale, much has changed. For a start, the definition of the term ‘mobile technology’ has expanded beyond the scope of the telephone to include an evermore-diverse and sophisticated array of devices ranging from tablet PCs to eBook readers to so-called smart phones. Alongside other impressive capabilities such as allowing users to take and share high-definition photographs, read books, ascertain ones location down to a few metre’s, play movies and music and, even access the internet, that of making and receiving calls today seems a somewhat insignificant, easily overlooked feature of what now essentially amount to small, albeit ferociously powerful, personal computers.

The personal computer that has dominated our lives up until now has been, without doubt, the desktop computer, the experience of accessing the Internet on a mobile device having traditionally been fraught with difficulties and, more often than not, one characterised by intense disappointment. Yet with the help of advances in mobile hardware as well as software, the increasing availability of wireless, 3G and even 4G high-speed Internet, not to mention increased awareness and cooperation on behalf of designers and developers themselves, things are beginning to change fast with mobile devices now emerging as serious contenders to the desktop computer.

In 2009, Goldman Sachs economist, Mary Meek, predicted that over the following five years more users would begin to connect to the Internet through a mobile device than on a desktop computer. As of 2012, there are already more smart phones being sold worldwide than desktops with Gartner’s, one of the world’s leading IT research companies, predicting that mobiles will, ahead of schedule, surpass personal computers as the most common means of accessing the web. Meek has argued that the world is currently in the midst of its fifth major technology cycle of the past half century, the Mobile Internet Era – the four prior to it being the mainframe era of the 1950s and 60s, the mini-computer era of the 1970s, the desktop computer era of the 1980s and the desktop internet era of the 1990s and 2000s. If this cycle is as big as its four predecessors – and the sheer numbers involved suggest it will be even bigger – then those able to rise to the challenge of providing what users want, when they want it, will be more than compensated for their efforts.

The problem is that, until recently, few businesses, designers and developers have been able to fully grasp the importance of what is happening, many of them choosing to ignore the medium entirely. Designing for mobile devices presents its own unique challenges separate from those encountered when designing for the desktop, not least of all that of having to contend with a smaller screen.

Nevertheless, in the words of mobile Internet design expert, Luke Wroblewski, “Mobile, if it happened at all, has been a port of the desktop version that was conceived of, designed and built before anyone even considered the mobile experience.” Additional problems arise when considering the sobering fact that the vast majority of users do not yet own devices as feature-rich and technically competent as the iPhone 4S, which, like the 8000X back in the eighties, today still remains predominantly the preserve of the relatively wealthy.

Yet from a business perspective, it is hugely important to try and establish a strategy aimed at satisfying the demands of all elements of this increasingly important, growing target market, not just a privileged few. As many key players in the industry have already said, those involved in coming up with such strategies will, ultimately, have to start to do this by reversing the current trend of focusing on the desktop and begin designing for the mobile first.

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Best Compact Digital Cameras

Are you looking for the best compact camera that will fit in your pocket? We invited our friends from Geefts – the gifts for geeks bible – to recommend the hottest compact digital cameras on the market now.


http://inspiredm.com/best-compact-digital-cameras/

 

Are you looking for the best compact camera that will fit in your pocket? We invited our friends from Geefts – the gifts for geeks bible – to recommend the hottest compact digital cameras on the market now.

Fujifilm X100 12.3 MP Digital Camera


In amongst a flurry of of major camera announcements at Photokina 2010, one model stole the show – Fujifilm’s retro-looking, large sensor, fixed lens compact: the X100 ($1199). With its APS-C CMOS sensor and fast 23mm F2 lens giving a classic 35mm equivalent moderate wideangle view, this rangefinder-styled camera has traditional control dials plus an innovative ‘hybrid’ viewfinder that combines a large, bright optical finder with a high-resolution electronic display. We’ve been itching to get our hands on the X100 ever since it was announced, and Fujifilm has kindly lent us a prototype model for a first look. Click through to read more at dpreview.com.

Leica D-LUX5 10.1 MP Compact Digital Camera


The D-Lux 5 ($799) is a true Leica, not only in terms of its elegant design but also in its superior optical performance: the result are images of excellent quality. This versatile compact camera featuring a fast Leica Summicron zoom lens with focal-lengths from 24 to 90mm (35mm equivalent), is the perfect camera for a broad spectrum of photgraphic situations: from macro and wide angle architecture to landscape, from reportage to portrait and available-light photography. Manual setting options and an extensive range of accessories provide even greater creative freedom. With such versatile performance in such a compact package, the D-Lux 5 is the perfect companion whenever you seek inspiration – in Berlin or anywhere else in the world.

Fujifilm X10 12 MP EXR CMOS Digital Camera


The Fujifilm X10 ($599.95) digital camera feature a new larger 2/3-inch 12-megapixel EXR CMOS sensor and a bright, high-definition Fujinon F2.0 wide-angle to F2.8 telephoto, 4x manual zoom lens (28-112mm) with a proprietary Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating) that produces superb image quality from edge to edge.

Kodak PlayFull Dual Video and 12 MP Camera


The Kodak Dual Camera ($199.95) gives you the best of both worlds. Features high-speed video, a mic jack, and a built-in flash for optimal performance in any environment. The Kodak Dual Camera offers the potent combination of an impressive 1080p @ 60 fps HD video camera and a fully featured 12 MP BSI CMOS digital camera in one streamlined device. Sharing it all is simple. Just press Kodak’s Share button to tag to Facebook, Email, YouTube, and more…. Leer más “Best Compact Digital Cameras”

8 Tools that Make a Webmaster’s Life Easier

This list isn’t about designing websites; it’s about running websites … you know, “webmastering.”

Contrary to what some people want you to believe in, running a website takes some time on a daily basis. You can’t just leave everything unattended and hope that nothing will crash, get hacked, or simply stop working for whatever reason.

And it only gets worse if you’re running more than one website. Probably somewhere around six or eight websites the whole “webmastering” becomes a fulltime job.

Thankfully, there are some tools you can use to speed everything up a bit. And I’m not only talking about website maintenance tools. There are also tools for managing a publishing schedule, keyword research tools, checking if your sites are up, and other things. So in the end, the main theme of the list is to make a webmaster’s life easier, not to focus on a specific aspect of the work.


http://inspiredm.com/8-tools-that-make-a-webmasters-life-easier/

This list isn’t about designing websites; it’s about running websites … you know, “webmastering.”

Contrary to what some people want you to believe in, running a website takes some time on a daily basis. You can’t just leave everything unattended and hope that nothing will crash, get hacked, or simply stop working for whatever reason.

And it only gets worse if you’re running more than one website. Probably somewhere around six or eight websites the whole “webmastering” becomes a fulltime job.

Thankfully, there are some tools you can use to speed everything up a bit. And I’m not only talking about website maintenance tools. There are also tools for managing a publishing schedule, keyword research tools, checking if your sites are up, and other things. So in the end, the main theme of the list is to make a webmaster’s life easier, not to focus on a specific aspect of the work.

1. Uptime Robot

uptimerobot

Quite simply, this is a tool that lets you know whenever one of your sites goes down. Trust me, you want to be the first person to know such a thing, and not to find out after a reader sends you an email.

Uptime Robot is free, lets you monitor up to 50 sites. Sends alerts by email, SMS, Twitter, RSS, and checks your sites every 5 minutes. I’ve been using this tool for over a year, and I haven’t experienced any problems with it yet. Highly recommended.

2. Google Webmaster Tools

WebmasterTools

This is one of those Google tools that’s a little less popular. And I can’t see the reason for this because the tool is great. I actually think that every webmaster or person managing any website should sign up for an account.

GWT provides you with a lot of information on what’s going on on your site from Google’s perspective, which is exactly what you want to know if you’re trying to build good rankings.

Among the information you’ll find: search queries that have returned pages from your site, links pointing to your site, the most significant keywords on your site (according to Google), +1 metrics, malware diagnostics, list of crawl errors, “fetch as Googlebot” tool, site performance stats, and more.

3. Google Keyword Tool

KeywordTool

For some webmasters this is a must-use, for others not so much. Not everyone runs their websites with keyword focus in mind. And it’s quite understandable.

If you’re running a personal blog or a news site then keywords are not that significant. For personal blogs it’s because … well, you just don’t care. And for news sites you’re essentially publishing completely new stuff every day, which means that there have been no trends for relevant keywords yet.

For most other pages, however, keywords are very important. Google Keyword Tool lets you find some valuable keywords and phrases worth targeting in your SEO efforts. The tool gives you estimated traffic numbers and other statistical data. Even though it has been designed for AdWords’ users it can be successfully used by anyone else too.

Bonus tip. Don’t forget to track your rankings. You can use some tools for this too, but they usually require a small investment. The simplest way of tracking your rankings, however, is to google your desired phrase and look for your listing in the results. Only remember to use the private browsing mode of your browser while you do that. Otherwise your results will be customized to your previous behavior and user account.

4. Teambox

teambox

A webmaster’s work is rarely a one man’s work. In most cases you have to collaborate with other people. There are content writers, designers, developers, marketers, social media managers, and so on. Communicating can be difficult, and email is not the best possible solution here. This is where Teambox comes into play.

Teambox is an online collaboration tool (you can sign up for the basic plan for free). It lets you create tasks, share them with others, create wiki-style pages to share knowledge, upload files important to your current projects, communicate in a social-network-like Leer más “8 Tools that Make a Webmaster’s Life Easier”