With the world progressing more to mobile devises and mobile access to information everywhere, Synthesis has been updating our older -- still very popular engineering article (s) -- making them current and mobile-friendly.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that Google is pressing us to do it too. Even so, we are happy to announce the engineering article conversions. Check out the new versions of the ever popular "The Product Development Process" and "What Makes A Good Trailer Design?" along with all the sub and supporting pages. (Both of these articles are multi-page content, each with supporting extras on the topic. Even with tons of awesome material on the Synthesis website, these 2 articles garner nearly half of the website traffic. In fact, "The Product Development Process" sees nearly 1700 readers each month!
History of "The Product Development Process" Article
Back in the dark ages -- OK, maybe not quite that far back. Start over. Our focus at Synthesis has always been on helping people design and develop new products, then bring them to market. That's what we do. As part of that, we answer questions, lots of questions about product development, patents and related things. One day after fielding 3 calls that were almost identical, I decided to write a list of questions asked, then compile them, with answers, into an engineering article. I spent a year collecting questions, then several months writing the first version of "The Product Development Process". Originally 6 pages of great information.
Unfortunately, we don't know exact dates, but the first version went up in the late 1990's. 1998, we think. Then, in the early 2000's the first revision and expansion (9 pages). Shortly after, a university in Spain contacted us about using the engineering article in their curriculum. Since then, the article has undergone 2 other major revisions including this one in 2017. It is now in at least 3 universities as curriculum, and in numerous company training programs around the globe. Pretty exciting. (We don't mind that people want to use it, and we appreciate the acknowledgement.)
Since then, though we have not expanded that article, we have written more on the subject. You can find more in the Library and in the section we call "Insight". Some of the key ones are about Manufacturing, about Prototypes and several Case Studies.
Here are some views of the old and new PDP article.
History of "Good Trailer Design"
This article has a little more snarky beginning. It came because a friend, wanting to build a trailer, was continually fed lines of BS by various trailer salesmen. I don't remember now the context of the conflicting information he received, but when he asked me, we did some searching to find the truth to his questions.
I have been designing and building trailers (utility trailers mostly) since way back, so I knew a bit about the subject. Because my friend had trouble getting answers he wanted / needed for his project, it made me wonder. How many other people are missing information they need or want?
I picked up a brochure at a trailer place in Livonia Michigan one day that had a bunch of great information about myths in trailer building. It was wonderful. I took that idea and drastically expanded it into what you now see as the engineering article "What Makes A Good Trailer Design?" (4 Pages.) That was closely followed by the article "Choosing The Right Utility Trailer". Both articles have fresh updates now, and are ready for you to read. (I just wish I had larger images to update all the old photos for a bigger size.)
Benefits and Drawbacks of Responsive Web Design
Through the process of this conversion from Static HTML to Responsive Web Design, we have certainly improved a few things, but also degraded others. For the improvements, the articles are more friendly to mobile viewing. The conversion was also a good time to make some article updates and improvements. Finally, having the articles now in the content management system has some benefit (for us, more than for a reader).
On the other hand, all content management systems are slower. Many times slower, because they must process so much more information. We have done a lot to speed up the website, and continue with new technologies moving forward. Yet, dynamic pages just load slower. The static HTML versions of these pages loaded in sub 1 second times on most computers. The dynamic versions are acceptable, yet significantly slower.
So, Google wants everything mobile friendly and penalizes sites that are not to their "standards". That means you, as a customer, browse slower websites. Too bad, because our old, very efficient HTML was really fast, and pretty good even on mobile. Makes me wonder about what progress really is. For more on software hiccups and how we as customers are penalized by the "evolution", please read about Where the Customer Fits in Quality Control.
Enjoy the updates.