Web Design for the Future

Date published: 2013-09-05

The devices that are accessing the internet more and more are smartphones. Often people couldn't be bothered booting up their laptop when their smartphone can have a website open in just a few swipes. As more and more developers become mobile savvy - websites will work well on mobile devices and there will be even less reason to use laptops. However there is much more to smartphone compatible websites than just fitting in the screen.

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Firstly relying on visitors to zoom into your website to read it is completely bonkers. People are just not going to bother with your website. Your website must be designed to respond to a screen 320px wide and bigger. The website must be responsive to the device screen size. This website is - view us in your mobile phone and see how good we look.

Being responsive to the visitor screen size and using a readable font size are not the only requirements. Smartphones may be connecting to broadband via wifi but they may also be connecting with slower 3g or 4g services. So the priority here is fast loading which means to have the website use as few files as possible. Those files should also be tiny. So a website will have one CSS page that can be cached, one JS file that can be cached and html files and a couple of image files per page. So the current trend of building websites using images is over. The use of big javascript libraries and 5 or so little javascript helpers is over.

It's not just about building websites that look good in mobile devices and load fast. It's also about the information ON your website. Since smartphones have small screens it makes sense that your website should supply data in small packages (short rather than long pages). Gratuitously filling a page with self advertising makes a page long with no visitor interest - epic fail in design. Clearly web designers have to think about the purpose of the website and what visitors will want from it. Gone are the days of building a stock standard website with stock standard content.

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