Innovation for financial advisers
Those who follow the regulator may have caught the publication of a speech given by chief exec Martin Wheatley at the Financial News Conference. In it he confirmed that the FCA is now running a full time innovation hub, he said: "This team is dedicated to supporting innovation in financial services, Innovation that can genuinely improve the lives of consumers."

Mr Wheatley is acknowledging that it can be difficult to move in a regulated environment, apparently, main blog image waiting 6 months for a vague answer to your question is something that could potentially hinder development. The FCA's innovation hub is designed to be a platform of open dialogue about financial services innovation, or put another way, you ask if you can do something and they say yes, no, or probably maybe; if you ask me it all sounds like Dragon’s den for would be product developers!

I think there is great potential for innovation in our industry, particularly in the area of web/cloud based technologies. The Internet has advanced at a tremendous pace over the past decade, we have the ability to run our entire businesses from our smartphones, however, I do wonder how many advisers are actually utilising the full range of technology that’s available.

Over the next few weeks I intend to explore and blog about exactly what technology is available to advisers and how it can potentially be used to improve your business; the remainder of this post will focus on responsive web design or RWD for short.

RWD

RWD is not, strictly speaking, a technology, it’s a web design practice that has evolved out of the need for websites to respond to changing device and screen sizes. RWD is fast becoming the new standard for website design, in fact google are now using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal (Forbes:Now Is The Time For Responsive Design). So what exactly is RWD and how does it work?

A responsive website adapts to a user's device, screen size and browser type. The basis for RWD is the premise that a great majority of people are using smartphones and tablets as their main internet browsing device; this means that it’s highly likely that some of your own users have probably never seen your website on a desktop browser. Gone is the old approach of using a separate mobile and desktop site, instead RWD focuses on creating sites that naturally morph between the many hundreds of varying screen sizes and device types.

Developers often take a “mobile first” approach, good RWD ensures that the quality of your website’s message is not in any way diminished simply because a user is accessing the site on XYZ phone. The very best responsive designs adapt both the delivery and the content based on the users device size, orientation, screen resolution and browser capabilities. For example: developers may include high resolution images for iPhones with retina displays but downgrade to lower resolution images to optimise for phones with standard displays; forms and buttons should adapt to take account of touch screen interaction; developers can take advantage of a smartphone's native user interface (for example, the date/number wheel that appears on an iPhone); layout and text should adapt to ensure readability; embedded media such as videos and presentations adapt based on a device’s capabilities.

In summary, the best Web Developers take care to ensure that their websites are optimised to look great on any mobile, tablet or desktop browser. RWD is not simply about making content fit onto a small screen - RWD is about exploiting web technology to deliver the best possible user experience on every potential device.


Santchi are a web development company based on the Wirral in the North West of England. We develop websites and web tools for the financial services industry. We specialise in websites for financial advisers and financial services professionals.
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