February 1 Update: Since we published this post more of the Topretirements site has gone mobile friendly. The City Reviews, over 1000 of them, are now much easier to view on your mobile. Please also check out our 2nd video, which is a quick one on “How to Get Started Finding the Best Communities at Topretirements”
January 3, 2016 — If you are viewing Topretirements on a tablet like an Ipad or a smartphone, there is a different look from you would have seen a few days ago. The world is moving more and more to mobile phones and ipads, and Topretirements.com is trying to meet that demand. To that end we are pleased to announce that after a long and demanding upgrade process, our site is now much easier to use and better looking on the small screen.
Stats by device type
The trend is pretty clear – Internet users are moving from desktop computers to tablets and mobile phones. In the last 6 months of 2015 some 55% of Topretirements visitors were on desktops, a decline of 4 percentage points from the same period in 2014. Tablet users were essentially unchanged, representing 24% of visitors. The decline in 2015 desktop visitors was made up by smart phone/mobile users, who rose to 21% of our audience, up from 17% in 2014. The trend toward more mobile users is expected to continue.
What Topretirements looks like on a Mobile Phone – Youtube Demonstration
Click the Play arrow to view a short demo, or use the link to see it Full Screen.
Easier to navigate
Previously if you came to this site using a mobile device it looked exactly like it does on your big desktop computer – except everything is a lot smaller. The problem with that is obvious; it is very hard to read, and clicking on links to navigate through the site is difficult. The site’s appearance on a tablet was not too different from a desktop.
Here are 2 comparison screen shots (basically this explains what you saw in the video):
Notice that in the Desktop version there are 3 columns: narrow columns are on the left and right, and a wider column in the center. If you change the size of your desktop screen to make it smaller you will see the columns change: eventually both side columns get dropped off (actually they are pushed to the bottom). Because of its small size, on your mobile (smartphone) screen there is only one column shown.
One tip that some folks might not know – the use of the so called “hamburger”, a term used by web folks to describe the space-saving icon used for expanding/contracting a menu.
A hamburger is the name for the (very small) 3 horizontal lines in the upper right column of this screen shot. If you click on it on the actual website, the expanded menu shown below will open up so you can navigate to different sections around the site.
If you click on it again, the menu will go away.
More to come
The change to our mobile friendly Home page was a big second step (our Blog was converted earlier). Most other pages are now more mobile friendly (the hamburger will show up when you make the screen as small as on a mobile), but they still will not compress to a single column. That will come in the next few months. We hope our mobile users will notice the difference. But the good news for everyone, no matter what type of device you use, is that this was such a challenging process that virtually all of the web code on Topretirements had to be re-written in a more powerful, reliable way. That should mean that the site will run faster and with fewer errors.
Suggestions? Please share any reactions or ideas for future improvements in the Comments section below.