Under the direction of Marc Pastor, web design and digital communications specialist at San Diego State University, the Alternative Considerations website has become more user-friendly for mobile device users.
Pastor reconfigured the website to become “responsive,” the term used to describe the process by which the site determines the size of a user’s screen and automatically makes adjustments to enhance readability. With so many charts, graphs, photographs, and images, along with texts, links, and other elements on the website, this flexibility is critical.
The Jonestown Institute has seen the use of mobile devices, such as smartphones, dramatically increase over the past five years. In the month of September 2023, for example, almost 70 percent of visitors used mobile device, while close to 30 percent used desktop computers, and fewer than 2 percent used tablets. A year ago the percentages were about 50-50 phone users to desktop users.
There are still occasions when a phone user may have to turn the device sideways in order to read a chart or graph. But the website offers the opportunity to open some pages in a new tab, and this really helps make the text readable.
Although occasional glitches still occur, site usability has been greatly enhanced, according to Pastor. “It’s an ongoing process of refinement and correction.”
Recent website traffic to SDSU websites reflects this enhancement. The campus analytics report for the first 28 days of September 2023 places the Alternative Considerations homepage at #6, behind the campus homepage and the library – among others – but ahead of Academic Programs.