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Mobile Site vs. Responsive Site vs. Native App vs. Web App

Written by Aaron Charlie – Wed 05 Feb 2014

We've updated this article for 2014 and turned it into a free downloadable Mobile Strategy eBook. Find out what your options are for mobile development and which platform is right for your business. Once you've decided, take a look at our Mobile Development courses and start learning an essential skill for 2014.

mobile development choices

Last year we wrote about ‘the mobile future’. Well that future has become the present. As a business owner, what are your options for entering the ever-growing mobile market?

In the US, smartphones outnumber feature phones. In India, this year mobile web users will outnumber desktop web users.

Not only is the mobile market growing but it’s becoming more profitable. Google recently added in-app subscriptions to the Play Store, PayPal is taking mobile to the high street and banks are getting in on the act led by Barclays Pingit.

Fears of security have been swept aside as mobile users worldwide devour information & entertainment on the go.

The opportunities for marketing are huge. Last year the mobile market was estimated to be worth $25-50 billion by 2015, but as China’s app market is valued at $35 billion those early figures massively undersell the mobile market.

Download our eBook Now

Mobile at a Glance

Users can access content on their smartphone or tablet in two ways – via a browser or by downloading an app. You should be making sure that potential customers can access your content via one of these options:

  • Browser – Websites (desktop, mobile & responsive) and Web Apps
  • Application – Native Apps

So which one should you choose? Use our helpful guide to decide!

We run an iOS App Developer Course and an Android App Workshop, teaching you how to design, develop and market apps for the two most popular mobile operating systems - with a combined market share of 82% between them!

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A Tour Round our New Silicon Beach Responsive Website

Written by Aaron Charlie – Mon 30 Sep 2013

We've been saying that mobile is the way forward for years. Now we have a brand new responsive site to back it up, complete with our innovative Quick Course Finder to help get you to where you want to go.

New Responsive Website

Want a site like ours? Our Responsive Web Week course will give you or your team the skills to build responsive sites that work across all devices and screen sizes.

We've not just made our site responsive; we've also packed it full of new features to get excited about.

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10 Essential Cheat Sheets for Web Developers

Written by Aaron Charlie – Wed 28 Aug 2013

As a professional web developer or hobbyist designer, there are always ways to make the coding work you do faster and more efficient. With that in mind, we've put together a list of the 10 most useful cheat sheets a developer can rely on - everything from HTML5 to MySQL.

Of course , if you're struggling with the basics, you could always come on our HTML5 & CSS3 Course to kick-start your developing career.

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Tantalising Typography: Using Web Fonts in 2013

Written by Craig Charley – Thu 27 Jun 2013

It's 2013, it's time to ditch Arial and embrace modern Web Fonts. That's what we'll be doing later this year when we launch our new site, and so I thought it would be a good time to revisit web fonts and explore the huge range of options we now have for beautiful typography on the web. As an example of the freedom this gives designers, here's Creighton Pro: a font which may or may not be appearing on a certain site this year . We hope you like it!

Creighton Pro

Until recently, web designers were limited by the fonts they could use online. Fonts had to be installed on a user's computer which meant sticking to one of a limited selection of 'web-safe' fonts including Arial, Courier New, Times New Roman, Comic Sans, Impact, Georgia, Trebuchet, Webdings and Verdana. These are the fonts that Microsoft included in their Core fonts for the Web initiative in 1996 and are still the most commonly used web fonts to date. Look at the graphic below and I'm sure you'll be familiar with all of them:

Microsoft Core Web Fonts

Thankfully, due to ever expanding web font libraries and almost complete browser support, you can now pick from thousands of fonts to 'make the web beautiful' (Google's words, not mine).

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Classic Icon Designs - Time for a Change?

Written by Aaron Charlie – Sun 28 Apr 2013

Skeuomorphism is, according to Wikipedia, "a physical ornament or design on an object made to resemble another material or technique." It's a somewhat controversial design technique that has been around for centuries.

In terms of web and mobile design, skeuomorphism is most commonly referred to in terms of icons or even apps and software which use representational design elements that possess little or no functionality. You can learn all about skeuomorphism on our InDesign Training.


An example of it would be the notepad on Apple iOS devices which has been designed to look like a traditional paper notepad. There's no need for it to be designed like this, from a functionality perspective, but the way it looks makes its purpose easily identifiable. The skeuomorphic philosophy employed by Apple is a big part of their approach to making tech simple and ultra-user-friendly.

It's not just Apple that uses this technique though; it has been in use in the tech industry for years, especially with regard to buttons and icons.

But is it a good thing? Should we really be using symbols that don't mean anything  in terms of the app or software?

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