In a long overdue update, shoutleaf.com is now responsive. This means that if you view the site in a mobile device such as a phone or tablet, the structure of the page should conform to a shape that works well for your screen size. It also has been updated with some hacks to make Internet Explorer accept CSS Media Queries and HTML5 elements, which means that the site now looks and works much better on versions of Internet Explorer down to IE7.
This isn’t the first incremental improvement that the Shoutleaf site has experienced, and it won’t be the last. One of the strategies of website management that has really proven itself over the last decade is the early-incomplete/often-improved release cycle. Instead of building a website up and out until it is perfect, an early initial release goes live that is in “beta” condition. It’s feature complete–gets the job done–but it isn’t completely polished. Then the site is continually improved and polished even while it is in use, and it never leaves that “beta” condition. This is the strategy that Google uses on their products. If you signed up to Gmail early, you may have wondered why the top banner said “Gmail Beta” 5 years later. They’ve changed the logo, but in many senses, Gmail is still in a middle-ground between a fully stable, tested and mature product (which is is) and a cutting edge, recently-updated, still-being-improved product (which it is).
You’ll find that lots of successful websites fit into this category, and traditional software is moving in this direction as well. You can see it in things like browsers and operating systems. For a long time, Netscape, Internet Explorer and even Firefox measured time between new versions of their browsers in years. It took more than 5 years after IE6 for Microsoft to release IE7. Then, in 2008, Chrome debuted, releasing more than once a year, and increasing their pace in 2010. In 2011, Firefox implemented its rapid release cycle, releasing new versions every few months. One can observe the move towards rapid release in OSX and even Windows. The Ubuntu operating system releases a new version twice a year and is even considering moving towards a rolling release cycle, as the Chrome OS operating system already has. A rolling release cycle is the ultimate in software development. If you do it right, every time you log in or log on, your experience is better, easier, and faster than last time.
So keep looking for improvements on our site. We won’t always announce changes, but things should be slightly better every month.