Sencha Touch Spotlight: Dyad Communications
Dyad Communications is a design firm located in Philadelphia, PA. We build sophisticated mobile websites that integrate the same aesthetic decisions our clients expect in our desktop and print work. Our goal is to give clients the same experience on their mobile devices, like the iPhone and iPad, as they have on their desktop website or native apps.
Why We Chose Sencha Touch
Despite the imminent “demise” of Flash, our clientele remains adamant that we develop sites that operate with a level of design sophistication and elegance that require the use of Flash for a lot of our work. Of course, the lack of support for the Flash player in iOS left us with an issue: how do we best present clients’ websites on mobile devices, in a way that cohesively presents the pre-defined aesthetic of their Flash interface?
“Using Sencha Touch, a small development team of 1-2 people can translate a large Flash site into an mobile HTML5 version within 3 weeks.”
When Sencha Touch was released, we were impressed by the robust library of pre-built components and the responsiveness with which they performed. Suddenly, we could apply our proficiency with Web standards to create mobile re-interpretations that feel as rich as their desktop counterparts. It didn’t take us long to realize that the possibilities inherent in the Sencha Touch framework would help us to easily dive into the new challenges of mobile usability, without spending any time coding touch-based interaction logic.
Sencha Touch provides a powerful framework for developing websites that feel like native apps. With Sencha Touch, we can easily implement a Carousel of large images that the user just swipes through like a native app. Using Ajax or JSON, it’s easy to tap into a new or existing content management system, pull data and place it onto a page. This makes it very easy to maintain multiple versions of a site, which is a key part of our efficient work philosophy.
Business Value of Using Sencha Touch
Using Sencha Touch, a small development team of 1-2 people can translate a large Flash site into an mobile HTML version within 3 weeks. Smaller sites can be developed in a matter of days. This saves a considerable amount of time in development. Using the built-in components of Sencha Touch, we reduce development time by days since we don’t have to implement many usability features like Carousel swiping and multimedia loading including video and audio.
It also reduces the time we spend debugging for other devices, such as Android, since Sencha Touch has built-in support for those devices. The reliable structure of Sencha Touch ensures that if the site is functional on one device, it will work comparatively on all other devices that support it. In the end, our clients get a robust mobile version of their desktop website that is enhanced with special touch features.
Our Advice to Developers
When approaching a new Sencha Touch project, we aim to incorporate the latest usability paradigms we see gaining traction in popular native apps with the aesthetic already defined in the Flash site we’re adapting. This means extending the API to build custom interactive components, so a strong understanding of OOP is a must. Getting your head wrapped around Sencha layout management is a great place to begin, and extensive use of the Sencha Touch API will give you many new options you didn’t know existed. If you are just starting out, Sencha offers very quick and easy video tutorials that give you a jumpstart on learning the basics about the Sencha Touch framework.
Sencha Touch has allowed us to open up new business opportunities with existing clients and expand the scope of what we can offer new clients without compromising time and profit. We highly recommend using Sencha Touch for not only apps but for mobile websites as well.