The Web as intended

The truly wonderful christopherengland.com is hand crafted by me to provide daily articles for your extreme reading pleasure.  Using words, most of which are found in the English language, I attempt to communicate my wit, wisdom and something else beginning with ‘w’.

Having crafted, by the wonders of wizardry, my wordsmithery art I then find pictures (like that arty one with the hand and the www) to illustrate my words, and make sure that everything looks pretty for those who attend for a daily education and wonderment session via their PCs.

Indeed, I centre my attention on making it all pretty, fine and dandy for those who view using Chrome as their browser, and my site has a side bar of useful information and links to searches and archives.  From time to time I check to ensure all looks ok on Firefox and Internet Explorer.

Something I don’t really examine too much is the automated cut-down version that those with iPads, tablets or mobile phones get presented with.  This mobile version lacks the wonderful formatting of the ‘desktop’ version of the site, slamming the pictures and words into a functional yet unpretty stream to feed the mind via a tiny screen, in complete contrast to the nicely word-wrapped with embedded pictures in newspaper-ish stylee desktop version.  It also lacks the additional sidebar prompts, explanations and links so lovingly crafted for desktop viewers.

All of this would be fine and acceptable if viewing via a mobile or tablet was something that people did as a stop-gap or supplement inbetween their more regular visits to the internet via a ‘proper’ computer.

The problem is that more and more people are using desktop computers less and less. Especially young people.  Indeed, there’s now a growing generation of people who don’t know ‘the internet’ in its more traditional form.  They think that what they see on their little mobile screen is all there is and how it is.

Examining the stats that are available to me about what devices are checking in to experience England’s England, I’m seeing just under 25% of those visiting are doing so via a mobile device. A year ago it was about 10% and a year before than it was about 2%. Possibly within a few more years, the desktop version will be viewed by the minority whilst the ‘norm’ will be to view and only know the mobile version.

This means that I probably need to pay some attention to how the site looks for mobiles and tablets a lot more than I currently do by just letting it cut itself down automatically.

It also means that the days of elaborate ‘desktop’ versions of websites are numbered.  The future will be the cut down, simplistic, almost just enhanced RSS feed reader versions, of words and pictures scrolling down the tiny screens of the internet viewing devices of the future.

Is this a good future?