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Apr. 25, 2013 10:00 am

‘Less apps, more responsive’: Jim Keller, web dev firm Context

"Most apps can be built into a responsive website, and the user will be none the wiser," said Jim Keller, principal at Jenkintown-based web dev firm Context.

Jim Keller, Principal at Context. Photo from Context's website.

The message was clear at Jim Keller‘s responsive design panel yesterday: “Less apps, more responsive.” (We’ll forgive him the use of ‘fewer,’ not ‘less.’)

“Most apps can be built into a responsive website, and the user will be none the wiser,” said Keller, principal at Jenkintown-based web dev firm Context. Responsive design is that device agnostic manner of developing websites — becoming more popular, if challenged — that changes format as the site is resized to accommodate tablets, smartphones or other mobile devices.

The responsive design craze is in full swing (shown in part by the standing room only event held in a narrow conference room at Embassy Suites on the Parkway). One reason for the buzz is that app development is “very resource intensive,” according to Keller.

He said his firm gets weekly calls from organizations saying that they need an app. But he tells them, “Unless you need to use the camera [on a phone], you probably don’t need an app.”

In the end, Keller said it’s about flexibility. You have to accept that you’re going to have limited control over what devices people are going to use when they’re accessing your website.

“Think about that from the get-go,” Keller said, “and be flexible.”

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Juliana Reyes

Juliana Reyes began as lead reporter at Technical.ly Philly in July 2012. Previously, she was a city services beat reporter for the Philadelphia Daily News, as part of a project called β€œIt’s Our Money.” She is learning to drive, learning to bike (in the city) but is an expert at taking SEPTA. She grew up in North Jersey and Manila, Philippines but she left the tropics for Bryn Mawr College, where she majored in linguistics. She now lives in West Philly.

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