Our new 'responsive' website is almost ready!

As part of our ongoing performance improvement plan, we have been carrying out some development work which will have a huge, positive impact on the usability of our site. As a result, this website will have a new look and feel by 31 July.

The main difference users will notice is that the site will be ‘responsive’. This means it will present itself sympathetically to the size of the screen upon which it is being viewed - whether it be a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop PC.

Most new websites feature responsive technology and going forward it will almost certainly become the norm. There are several drivers for this, but the main one is the huge increase in the numbers of people accessing the internet via smartphones and tablets.

For example, over the past 12 months the number of visits to the Rooftop website from a smartphone has increased by 53% and the number of visits from a tablet has increased by 110%. These figures reflect wider national trends. Research published in 2013 by the Office for National Statistics suggests that 85% of GB households now have access to the internet. And the number of adults that access the internet at least once a day has more than doubled from 2006 from 16 million to 36 million (73% of the population). More pertinently the number of people regularly accessing the internet via smartphones and tablets has come from virtually nowhere to reach 61%.

Increasingly as well, there are large numbers of people who use more than one device to surf the web. What this means for websites is that they need to operate seamlessly across all platforms and devices - and this is what responsive technology does. But not just that, it means that most websites are now being designed ‘mobile first’ or ‘mobile up’ so that the design begins with a mobile interface, rather than ends with it.

So, as well as applying responsive technology to our website we are also changing the general layout and design – it’s not a completely different look, but it will be different. Aside from a few changes to the site structure, there are some design tweaks including a new colour scheme, new typeface, and slightly different column widths. We are also focussing more on the 'calls to action' - these are the things entice people to 'do things' online in a proactive way rather than merely 'reading' the site. There will also be fewer tabs on the homepage and an enhanced search facility.

Top Secret 1 

The website address will remain the same www.rooftopgroup.org and once we have swtiched off the old site and switched on the new, we will welcome your feedback.