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The Side Dish

Responsive Websites and the Internet of Things

Pralie Dutzel, Senior Front-End Developer / 2.6.2017

Is your website ready for the Internet of Things?

Is your website ready for the Internet of Things?

Every year at the Consumer Electronics Show, we see an unveiling of new devices and gadgets that bring us into an increasingly connected world. One of the biggest themes over the past couple of years has been the Internet of Things, or IoT devices. Many of our household appliances are getting upgraded with displays and wireless connections that allow us to do all sorts of interesting things, like adjust the temperature on a crockpot while we’re away or adding items we throw into the garbage to a grocery list.

While these new innovations are certainly exciting, the inclusion of a browser on so many non-standard devices poses an interesting issue for modern websites. 

Responsive Web Design

Here at BIG YAM, we ensure that all of the websites we build for our clients are responsive. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, responsive web design is the act of designing and building websites that work across a range of devices and screen resolutions, without having separate instances of the website for mobile and desktop. This allows us to create one fluid experience for all of our users no matter what device they’re viewing the site on.

This technique has worked great so far, but as more and more connected appliances become mainstream, we need to adjust our thinking to account for more than just devices and computers. Whether the user is viewing your site on a smart refrigerator, watch or table, people should be able to access all of the information they need with ease.

Accounting for the Future

It’s impossible to predict all of the crazy, new technology that the future will hold, but we can take a few steps to better prepare our websites for them:

  • Keep an eye out for new IoT devices that come equipped with a browser. There are new devices coming out every year but not all of them feature a full browser
  • Push for web standards on any proprietary browsers that come with these devices. This means that browser vendors should implement features the same, allowing our websites to work seamlessly across any browser
  • Design with mobile-first in mind (if you’re not already) and enhance the experience the larger and more capable displays
  • Don’t focus on building for specific devices or screen resolutions. Instead, focus on building a fluid experience that will work and look great at any size
  • Focus on delivering great content first. Your users are accessing your site for your content, so make it shine
  • Work with your design and development teams to ensure your site’s responsive features are up to snuff

Is your responsive website ready for the Internet of Things? If not, the BIG YAM Agency digital team stands at the ready.