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Dealing with transformational changes

Thursday, November 14th, 2013 by Servage

In the last two or three decades, we experienced the web on a single platform, a desktop device, along with a page-like paradigm. Fact is, we still have those devices on many of our desks, but rely on them less and less.

Now, we have the luxury of accessing the internet through various devices, while on the go. This simple change in devices has made the web experience more interesting; and yet, more challenging for web designers. Today, if a designer is faced with a proposal from a progressive client, they have to short-list different things for planning that website’s development.

Let’s take a look at the criteria a web developer has to short-list before the actual designing or programming.

Size of the Devices

As mentioned above, we are in a transitional age, where various devices can access the web, differing in their screen sizes and capacities. Previously, we had limited options with desktop and laptop computers and their standard monitor sizes. Now, we have smartphones and tablets with much smaller screen sizes, and with variations in screen resolutions. Current planning takes fluid and grid base layouts into account, which compromise a selection of UI components. This includes balancing the use of white space by designers with user experience. For some, this could be seen as factors that hinder user experience, but not for a tenacious web designer who is eager to show their creativity in UI designing.

Device Fragmentation

Fragmentation on devices leads us to carefully engage in responsive programming. In today’s world, we have to consider the power capacity and battery consumption during our coding and graphics placement. With limited memory and variation in physical components, these devices demand some extra work from the web development team. All these challenges force us to think about our web paradigm in entirely new ways. Sticking to the page-like paradigm is not practical for our current predicament, where pages appear loosely connected to each other.

Screen Flow

Instead, we have to devise a page-less design, where we have a consistent screen flow during UI transitions, as we establish our site in applications that native to mobile devices. We must adopt a storytelling approach for our website designs, particularly for responsive design projects. Our job is to create a consistent screen flow while leaving ample space for visitors who may be entering in between pages, or more accurately, screen views. This means, we could have a site that is somewhat free of a landing page. With today’s design concepts, our users will enter at an unpredictable point on the website and will search for their own targets.

Creating story driven and visceral experiences in responsive website programming demands domain expertise, profound UX design experiences and enough creativity for the web development team. A solo designer is unlikely to meet such challenges; and so, you need to have collaborations from other experts. Working with a team is virtually required in today’s paradigm.

Gesture Transition

With the introduction of handheld devices, our habits of mouse or pointer movements are transformed into new gestures based mostly on thumb and fingers. Therefore, the web development community is experiencing drastic changes in the way we think of user experiences as well as the way we design UI components. We have to consider and incorporate all sorts of gestures in our responsive designing, as we don’t know which device will access our website. Inclusion of Siri-like voice command systems offer new dimensions in web programming where you can avoid many transitional steps during the operations. On the other hand, you are likely to incorporate several new items in programming, including integration of new scripting technologies and techniques.

References & More Reading

The Future of Web Design is in Our Hands
Stop Building Websites and Start Building Smart Sites
How Google’s Designers Are Quietly Overhauling Search

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