Evolution of Responsive Design – Where It’s Come and Where It’s Going

Responsive design has come a long way since its inception in 2011. The idea didn’t catch on as quickly as mobile websites did but today it’s become the standard when it comes to designing and developing a website. The concept started with the ability to rearrange elements of your existing website to fit the best view experience for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Responsive web design is now going beyond this basic function.

Companies offering responsive design services started to realize how important it was to actually optimize the websites they’re working on. It’s one thing to display a great user experience for all devices but it’s another complete issue on getting these websites to perform similarly to the main website. That’s why there has been a lot of focus on optimizing smartphone and tablet versions of your website for both UX and conversions.

Another realization that was made was how problematic loading could be for many users, particularly ones that didn’t have the best connection or best performing device. Many large websites with multiple design elements faced this challenge. As a responsive to this, server side components (RESS) is being used with client side ones to provide faster loading time. It also serves as a way to deliver better layouts, which then improves the website’s UX.

It doesn’t end there. Designers have become aware that people are using different types of browsers on their devices and devices of varying viewing screen sizes. Just like it’s important to make sure your desktop optimized website displays correctly across all the major browsers and computer monitors, it’s important to make sure the responsive design remains consistent through various screen sizes and devices.

Responsive web design will continue to evolve even further. There will be new features that will be able to detect whether or not the device or browser being used can view Flash. This will allow site owners to deliver media to users that can actually see it and provide alternatives for users that can’t. More browsers will also allow Flash to be seen which will even further help the ability to deliver media.

There will be improvements in the promotion side of things as well. There are many benefits of using markups in search engine optimization (SEO). However, it is better to use different markups for different devices as the way it is seen in the search results will appear differently. Instead of using one markup for all versions of the website, markups will be optimized according to the device.

While there have been tremendous improvements to responsive design, there are still many ways to go. There are still inconsistencies in terms of columns, plug-ins, javascript and navigation menu accuracy. These problems can still be resolved with proper redesign but these problems do limit site options. Despite these minor flaws, responsive design is still the standard and will continue to improve at a fast rate. Eventually, they will make mobile websites obsolete and businesses will need to hire experienced designers and developers if they want the most out of the mobile age.

Goran Paunovic

Goran Paunovic is a Creative Director of Chicago based ArtVersion Interactive Agency. He has spent the better part of his career helping companies focus their branding and visual face and voice to brands around the world.

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