We've already talked about one exciting development in web design, but there are other trends to keep an eye on for the future. There are many of these we expect to be big parts of web design in the future, but here are three we're especially interested in.
Responsive Web Design
Since mobile phones started having web browsers, web developers have seen the need to develop mobile websites separate from main websites. As mobile devices have evolved, so has the creation of mobile websites, becoming more and more advanced. Despite advances in the aesthetics and interactivity of mobile websites, they are (often) still separate from the main website. We should see this begin to change soon, however, with the proliferation of responsive web design (RWD). RWD uses CSS3 media queries to scale grids based on proportion, allowing a website to be viewed on any modern device from PCs to mobile phones and tablets. This should allow for decreased development time and better user experience from platform to platform due to the uniformity of the site.
Increased Social Media Integration
We've seen websites add social media buttons (Facebook likes, Tweeting capabilities, Pinterest pins, etc) for some time now, but we believe social media integration is going to be taking a step forward in the near future. The Washington Post has recently used their Trove platform (a personalized news aggregator used in a couple other services from the WP) to deliver advertisements integrated with real-time social media content. This is important, as it is a content developer doing this and not simply an advertising firm. The other implications of what the Washington Post is doing with Trove are the ability to see what people you know are viewing in real-time (Social Reader) and the ability to customize your content consumption (Personal Post). Content creators could follow this and begin to make content more interactive and social than ever before.
Most of you reading this are probably already familiar with the real-time aspects of websites like Facebook and Twitter (think: news feed and “x new tweets” notifications). These are what is known as real-time updates. Many developers are looking to implement a full real-time web where users can fully interact, with something done on one end instantly appearing on the other and vice versa (think Google Docs). The level of interactivity possible with RTW is staggering, especially when you consider the fact that apps like Google Docs are only among the first wave. It will allow for an interactive experience at a level we haven't really seen before, and we couldn't be more excited to see it more widely used.
If you're interested in these, here's some further reading:
- Responsive Web Design on Wikipedia
- Smashing Magazine on Responsive Web Design
- Realizing the Promise of a Real-Time Web
- Real-Time Web on Wikipedia
- Real-Time Web Case Studies
Are you especially excited about any of these trends? What applications of these would be most useful/interesting to you? Let us know in the comments!
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