Posts Tagged ‘mobile’

Going responsive or: The silent relaunch

28th December 2015

I wrote this blog post in December 2013 (and updated it in February 2014) for the company I work for, Zopa. But for some reason it never got published on Zopa’s blog. As I still think it’s valuable, despite being out-dated, I decided to publish it here on my own blog.

The Challenge

Take 5 different platforms and code bases (www|secure2|secure|blog| and make them responsive, i.e. ready for mobile devices. While doing that, redesign everything to look and behave better, make the code more accessible and don’t hold up any other work on those platforms. And do all of that on the side while working mainly on other projects.

Unify the frontend

The first thing that was clear to me was that those 5 platforms needed to share at least the same frontend code. It needed to be the same markup, it needed to have the same CSS and JavaScript and it needed to look and behave the same.

Other improvements along the way

Part of the changes would also include a redesign. The website design as it was at the beginning of 2013 was largely the same as it was back in 2006. 7 years are half an eternity in web years and some modernisation was needed. Naturally, a complete rewrite of the frontend code was required. But it was also clear that the site-wide coding quality and maintainability could be improved, along with making the site more accessible for users with disabilities.

Don’t disturb our users

Another thing our team made clear was that it needed to be done in an agile way, i.e. in small releasable chunks. That way of working also suited our designer who wanted the changes to consist of many small ones instead of fewer more radical ones, so that our users get used to the new design gradually without noticing too much of a difference. Not doing a so-called “big bang release” also minimises other risks.


Recently in a 3 store …

11th January 2009

The following conversation took place in a 3 store in East Ham on 5 November 2008, while I was buying a mobile broadband dongle.

Does this dongle also work with Linux?
sales girl:
Linux? Is that a special programme?
No, it’s an operating system.
sales girl:

(blank stare)
… like Windows or Mac OS.
sales girl:
Oh, like HP or Dell!?
Ehm, no. Like Windows XP — only different …
sales girl:
(turns to a senior sales man)
Does this work with Windows Linux?
sales man:
(uncertain, at least he seems to have heard of it)
Linux is a very heavy programme …
(indicating the sheer vastness of it with his hands: about one metre)
sales man:
Could be … If it doesn’t work with Linux, install Windows XP.

(unbelieving blank stare)
sales man:
It only costs about 50 pounds …