Adapting the web : Analysis of guidelines for responsive design

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för programvaruteknik

Abstract: Smartphone usage is higher than ever and the number is steadily increasing, but not all websites on the Internet are adapted for use on smartphones. This study set out to find common and proven guidelines from the current scientific literature and create a guide on how to best adapt a desktop website to be optimized for use on smartphones. Areas of research were usability, readability and energy saving. A literature review of the body of data on the subject was reviewed and the result was put in a list of guidelines. The guidelines were used to compare the desktop version versus the smartphone version on 5 frequently visited websites.    The result was summarized with a score for each website and their respective solution for displaying components on small screens was noted. A prototype website was constructed in two versions: one responsive and one unresponsive. The prototype website’s different versions were then tested by a group of testers. The result of the tests concluded that the guidelines raised user satisfaction and readability. Sufficient energy saving metrics could not be extracted in the way design and usability was tested and had to be excluded from the testing.    The list of guidelines showed that there are solutions for solving readability, usability issues  and energy-saving issues on smartphones. The testing concluded that there was an increase in text readability and usability of the website when the guidelines were implemented. Further testing of energy saving must be conducted to test the validity of the remaining untested  guidelines.

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