I’ll open this with a disclaimer: I do not work for the Rock River Times; I volunteer my articles as a community service. Also, this allows the publisher to take issue with my political positions should the need arise.
That said, congratulations to Rock River Times staff for updating the website to a more responsive design! The previous mobile version, rolled out it January was great, but it is even better now. Check out rockrivertimes.com on your mobile device.
Other local sites with nice responsive design implementations include kryptonitebar.com and theolympictavern.com. The Kryptonite site would load a little faster if they would remove some of the videos and scripted activities on first load, but both sites certainly encourage you to explore the content.
The Irish Rose site, at irishrosesaloon.net, features a nice responsive design, great graphics, and is quite fast on mobile devices. However, the fonts are a bit small and too light in color. I’d suggest a bit more contrast between the fonts and the backgrounds.
Offsetting the small type are large, easy to click on graphics and intuitive navigation, which was likely the design goal. In terms of navigation and overall layout, other businesses would do well to review the Irish Rose site. Just make the type a bit bigger for old eyes like mine.
Golfrockford.org is not a responsive design site, but the mobile version works better on smartphones than a responsive design platform probably could. Golfrockford.org is the Rockford Park District’s golf course website. The mobile version sends you straight to golf course information and tee time reservations. This is smart, as this is likely what most mobile users are trying to access. Nice mobile implementation.
I’m sure there are more great local sites – send me examples of your favorite local websites.
Paul Gorski (www.paulgorski.com) has been a technology manager nearly 20 years, specializing in workflow solutions for printing, publishing and advertising computer users. Originally destined to be a chemist, his interest in computers began in college when he wrote a program to analyze data from lab instruments he hard-wired to the back of an Apple IIe.