November 30, 2014
The web as we know it today has become incredibly powerful and usable. This is partly down to web developers across the US and around the world removing the distinction between desktop and mobile designs, and creating better online environments for people on all devices. The future of web design is mobile, but also scalable. I recently asked Mark at Geeks Chicago, a web design company based in Chicago, for his professional expertise and opinion, and these points were the most predominant:
Mobile and desktop combined
The mobile design philosophy of responsive websites is arguably the biggest change that has occurred in the web design world in recent years. However, its proliferation initially ushered in a sharp distinction between desktop and mobile sites, with apps becoming the norm for websites. For a while it looked like browser websites might not be the future of mobile devices. With the massive improvements in mobile hardware, however, and new responsive design techniques, the gaps between mobile devices and computers have been bridged to a reasonable extent, making it possible for developers to easily add mobile capabilities to websites of old. Cutting a design for mobile and desktop now takes less manpower than before, but designers still have to carefully think through their designs. With the help of HTML5 and the dropping of some common web design technologies, website designers can now design websites that can be rendered on a 3.5” smartphone or on a 60” TV, without losing anything.
Choose your hierarchy carefully
How do you avoid totally different mobile site designs?
When you take into consideration the different browsers that don’t have all the features you may want as a developer, you might think you will end up creating a mobile site that is optimised to look very different from the desktop version. Fortunately, there are solutions to facilitate cross-browser rendering: Fluid layouts and Media Query function. Fluid layouts have made it possible for designers to move from a laptop screen all the way up to a TV. Scaling down beyond laptops was a big issue for designers until Media Query function came into the equation. With the Media Query functionality, the browser is asked for its width and the design is scaled accordingly. This is basically the technology behind Responsive Web Design. It allows developers to use the exact same code and structure to scale a site from a phone all the way to a High Definition TV, without dramatically changing the overall layout. So, the future of web design is scalability.
Designers no longer have to develop a mobile site and a desktop site separately. Instead, we can now see mobile websites that can fit easily on any screen or user agent.
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