Rigid design for the web was inherently driven by its predecessor – the printed page. But the infancy of the web is coming to an end thanks to dozens of mobile devices and operating systems – even gaming consoles are accessorized with web browser technology – and further complicating the evolution of the web. So how do we move forward?
Rather than corralling our content into device-specific user experiences – can fluid grids and scalable images provide a safe middle ground between mobile and desktop web design? Or perhaps there’s a sound business ground for creating separate sites for each device? For instance – if users interacted differently depending on the device would a desktop user may expect having a more ‘in-depth’ experience where as a mobile user requires a shorter route to one specific outcome?
This device-specific type of design should not mean that designers can solve for the fluidity of varying experiences – responsive design is just one way forward. But can design include various elements specific for each device – just as it would include various formatted content specific for different types of audience?
Until then – we continue to design the web and its ebb and flow.