Anyone logging onto UKH this morning will have noticed that the site has had a face lift. But the smart new design is more than just cosmetic. It's a responsive layout which is aimed at working on cross platform devices like phones and tablets, as well as taking into account the larger monitors many now use.
The re-design mirrors the changes introduced on UKClimbing last month. The result is a website that responds to the device it is being viewed on. From a maximum width of 1200 pixels wide, it dynamically resizes down to the narrowest phone width, shifting content around accordingly. For those on a laptop or PC, you can see this at work by grabbing the bottom right-hand corner of your web browser window and sliding it to the left slowly to watch the site re-size down in stages until you reach the narrowest widths, which flex to the size of the phone screen it is being viewed on.
So why the change? These browsing device figures for our sister site UKClimbing show a clear trend in the way people are accessing our content:
- 36% of visitors to UKC are on mobiles or tablets (in 2010 this figure was 5.3%).
- Of these 59% are Apple iOS devices, which is 21% of all user visits to the site.
- And 40% are on Android devices, which is 14.4% of all user visits to the site.
- The remaining 1% is Windows tablets and phones.
Armed with these figures it was an obvious choice to make a site that better reflected the uptake of new platforms.
It is the biggest change to UKHillwalking since we launched in February 2011, but the re-vamp is just the beginning of a process. We have many ideas for improving other sections of the site that this new responsive design allows us.
First up, we've simplified the UKH Logbooks by removing all climbing-related categories - a leftover from the Logbooks' UKC origin - so that the Logbooks now show only summits and scrambles. Expect further improvements here in the near future.
I would like to thank Paul Phillips for the huge amount of effort he has put in on this. The new site uses Bootstrap - the excellent open source framework for developing responsive projects on the web.