Responsive web design is the idea that a site can be created to provide the best viewing and interaction experience possible — no matter what device you’re using. In recent years this philosophy has become a popular topic of discussion among web designers.
This makes sense considering that people today are spending more time surfing the web on their mobile phones and tablets and less of that time on their desktops. Instead of crafting different layouts and navigation functions for different devices, a site designed with RWD adapts according to what is being used.
But due to the complexity of web design and various differences between desktop computers and smart devices, the responsive web design approach is not without its skeptics. This is why only so many publishers are using responsive designs while the rest continue creating unique designs for each platform.
Adapting To Your Needs
Despite the technical challenges, many are predicting that RWD will improve our internet experience in an innovative way soon. We’re talking about age-responsive design, which involves websites that are designed to restructure depending on the age and interests of the user.
Online advertising has sort of been doing this for many years now. In case you haven’t noticed, what you search for in Google and online retail companies like Amazon influences what ads appear while you’re surfing Facebook and other social media pages.
An age-responsive website can take things one step further by using that metadata to determine your age group. After all, the interests of a man in his 40s aren’t the same as a high school freshman. This means a middle-aged person won’t see the same content as a teenager despite visiting the same page.
User Experience Designed For You
Age-responsive websites can also be designed to provide the perfect user interface experience depending on your age. For example, it’s no secret that elderly people require bigger font sizes and spaces due to their poorer eye sights. This includes providing more muted palettes that are easier on the eyes as well as stripped-down interfaces that are less confusing.
Teens and adults, however, will want more options in a navigation menu and aren’t affected by attractive, colorful schemes and animated images. Of course, preteens and younger users may enjoy brighter colors but also require simpler layouts and big fonts. With age-responsive design, the user interface reshapes to accommodate the user based on their age group.
The Challenges Of Age-Responsive Graphic Design
Whether or not responsive web/graphic design is the future depends on how well today’s designers can overcome the many technical challenges. One strong case against RWD is the fact that web performance may be affected. People assume that because a mobile website is smaller and shows less visible content, it should load faster. Instead, tests have shown that a website page doesn’t not load quicker on a mobile phone when compared to a desktop browser simply because the screen is smaller.
The problem with this is that people expect their mobile experience to be the same as their desktop even though mobile internet speeds are slower than broadband. This means that a responsive-designed page, no matter how optimized, is unlikely to load as fast as a page specifically designed for mobile. In other words, age-responsive websites will most probably load slower on your mobile devices.
Other claims against RWD is the fact that designing one is very complex. This means these kinds of websites will require more time and effort to create, which means higher costs. As an aspiring graphic designer, this is great news if you learn how to design age-responsive websites. But when comparing costs, a client might prefer a regular website if it means they’ll spend less money.
Age-Responsive Design— The Future, Sooner or Later
Despite the challenges, it’s likely that age-responsive design will become prominent in the future. Companies and businesses will realize that even though it may cost them more money to make, it will pay off when they see more people visiting their site due to it adapting to their needs and age. Always-improving mobile internet speeds will also play a role in bringing us to a time when each website feels like it was made for you.