The current website is undergoing changes that aim to make it more mobile/tablet friendly. The original design is based on personal computer (PC) usage and this can cause problems when accessing the same content on a smart phone or tablet – particularly smaller types. On a PC, the display is sub-divided into multiple parts (modules). The main module is where a page of information is displayed that the user has chosen to view, e.g. home page, club information, pictures, etc. Other modules display such things as a banner picture of Crook Peak, menu, weather link, latest news, search tool, font size tool, navigation arrows and copyright notice. In general it is the multitude and variability of modules that can make the site ‘unfriendly’ to smart phones and tablets. The main problems identified are as follows:

  • Some pages can be quite large and a mobile device may take some considerable time to load the required page. For example just the banner picture of Crook Peak is nearly 300 Kbytes. Typically, mobile friendly sites aim for a total webpage size of no more than 20 Kbytes.
  • Some displayed pages have elements that are too close together. Users of mobile devices generally make selections by using their fingers – a significantly blunter instrument then a mouse pointer.
  • The current viewport is fixed to PC architecture. There are a multitude of different screen sizes across phones, “phablets”, tablets, desktops, game consoles, TVs, even wearables. So it is important that our site adapts to any screen size, today or in the future.
  • Font sizes may be too small for some mobile devices. On a PC, the downloaded web page defines a default font size, but it is a relatively simple matter to change this size. However, the font size may be too small on mobile devices and changing it can be awkward. Best practice is to allow the mobile device itself to choose an appropriate font size.

Solutions to these problems vary as does the cost in both in time and money. We run this website on a very low overhead (time and money) and so this impacts on any solution.

The new design keeps the current content, but displays it differently depending on the device that accesses our pages. On a PC there will be very little difference detected from the previous system. On smart phones and tablet (Android, iPad, iPhone and Kindle Fire) devices, page displays will be much simpler. The main view will only contain the requested web page and navigation arrows. All other modules that are seen on a PC display of the same web page will be missing, i.e. no banner picture, weather, menu, news, search, font change or copyright notice. At the top of the screen will be the application bar that has a green background and displays our club’s name. On the left side of the application bar is a ‘side’ navigation button. When this is tapped the main page will slide to the right and the web site menu will be displayed. Choosing a new menu option or tapping the ‘side’ navigation button will cause the main screen to slide back into full view. An example screen shot of the web site when accessed from a small mobile is shown below. Click on the image to enlarge.

As ever, if you have ideas and/or constructive comments, please contact me. We can talk or send me an email via Webmaster link. See contact page.