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Ann Arbor Firm Carves Out Niche With Mobile Web Sites

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A 3.7Designs Web client with consistent presentations across all Web platforms

A 3.7Designs Web client with consistent presentations across all Web platforms

ANN ARBOR — Ann Arbor-based 3.7 Designs said Thursday that it has seen business growth after offering clients mobile friendly Web sites.

Having launched five mobile Web sites in the past month, the company looks to the future of the Web and sees a more friendly and adaptable landscape.

“It used to be that you could throw up a single Web site and have an adequate online presence,” CEO Ross Johnson said. “These days people are browsing on so many different devices you can’t expect to use a ‘one size fits all’ approach.”

The increase in mobile usage isn’t only attributed to kids and young adults. There are a growing number of people who use their mobile device as the primary access point to the Web. A study by Pew Research found that more than 25 percent of people in the United States uses their phone to browse the Web more often than a computer .

3.7 Designs staffers note that if you look carefully at the data, it’s clear we are living in a post-desktop world. More than 44 percent of U.S. adults own a smartphone and 18 percent own a tablet. Furthermore, by the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on the earth.

Mobile usage is no longer limited to entertainment and filling the time while waiting in line at the bank. People use it for everything from making payments, doing banking and looking up directions. This further demonstrated by the 23 percent of adults who get news on at lest two different devices.

There is much debate surrounding the “correct” way to build a mobile website. 3.7 Designs says it’s found that the approach is contextually dependent. In some cases, the most effective approach is a “responsive design.” Responsive design is the technique of creating a Web site that can shrink and collapse as the screen dimensions change. The benefit of responsive design is accessibility. The website displays well across the widest range of devices. The downside is you can’t select or eliminate content based on the mobile device. In those cases the firm has found custom mobile websites or “themes” allows for more control.

More at http://3.7designs.co.

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