Whether you're a web developer or just a casual web user, you need to prepare for the future of responsive design in web development. Lots of web users probably aren't even going to notice the difference. However, if you develop websites, you're going to need to know how to put together a great website for the responsive web design age. Web developers never stop learning, and one of the most important new skills for a web developer today is the ability to code and create responsive websites.
Before long, websites that are not responsive are going to be seen as old-fashioned. They'll be on par with the Web 1.0 websites that many younger people today won't even recognize or remember. The web developers who have been in the business since those days are familiar with the fact that they have to adapt themselves to all sorts of different emerging trends in order to stay relevant in their own fields. Today, that means that you're going to have to learn how to do responsive web design.
The Mobile Device Revolution
The rise in responsive web design directly parallels the rise of mobile devices. Mobile devices have different limitations and different requirements compared to the laptops and desktops that they have managed to supplement today.
Creating a website for both mobile users and laptop or desktop users is a waste of employee hours, and it makes things needlessly confusing for end users in general. Websites that are not easily accessible on mobile devices are already getting to the point where Google discriminates against them in the search rankings. This situation is only going to become more common and pronounced. At the moment, one in five Google searches is conducted on a mobile device and not a laptop or desktop. It might be twice that many in a few years.
Since there are lots of different web platforms in use today, websites need to be able to adapt, or there are going to be too many problems for too many users. Responsive websites will easily adjust their parameters so they can fit on lots of different devices, which is essential in a world of varying screen sizes.
Users Like Responsive Web Design
Ultimately, web developers need to think of their end users before anything else is said and done. Your end users are going to prefer responsive web design in most cases. Web users are notorious for the fact that they have no patience at the best of times, and even less patience than that at the worst of times.
When web end users run into a website that's loading just a little bit slowly or that isn't working correctly on their mobile devices, they're usually just going to try a different website after about two seconds. The idea that people were once willing to wait for slow-loading images on the Internet to finish appearing seems shocking, even though it was the norm back in the dial-up connection era.
Today, Internet users expect everything to appear right away and web developers need to make sure that this is going to happen for them. Today, this means using responsive web design. If you don't use responsive web design, you're automatically going to lose out to the people on the other website over there who are using responsive web design. The competition is so fierce on the Internet that you really can't compromise on characteristics like this.
Web Marketers are Going to Fuel the Craze for Responsive Web Design
Responsive web design is more conducive to search engine optimization in many ways. As such, the people who create web content and work for affiliate marketers are going to help encourage the creation of responsive web design. Google is discriminating against older forms of web design already, which is making it a necessity to use responsive web design if you care about rising through the search engine rankings, which is the basis of search engine optimization.
Web marketers are also well aware of the importance of mobile friendly websites. People will use their mobile devices in any location at any time. You're better off creating a website that people can access at home, on the subway, in a restaurant, in class, on a break, and everywhere else than a website that people can only access at home. People might not even want to access websites when they're at home and tired, so you're better off getting them during the day when they should be doing work anyway. Web marketers are already well aware of this, and that's why so many of them are doing whatever they can to make their devices more appealing to the mobile device users.
Since web marketers are encouraging the use of responsive web design, responsive web design is soon going to be the sort of characteristic that people will need to get into place if they want to stay competitive. This is a common effect that you'll see with all trends. Once a trend gets going, there's a certain amount of pressure to stick with it. Soon, a trend becomes mainstream, and something that used to be considered a bonus becomes standard. Responsive design in web development has already started following that trajectory, partly thanks to web marketers. Web developers are going to have to follow them now.
Devices Change and Responsive Web Design Changes With Them
One of the only constants in the tech world, even more than the real world, is change. Telling people in the 2000's about the mobile revolution of today would probably shock them, even if you said it to them as they were using flip phones that are considered comically dated today and would have been considered high-tech to the people of the 1990's.
Websites themselves are a product of the technology of the day, which is one reason why the websites of the Web 1.0 era look horribly dated less than twenty years later. Responsive web design adapts itself to the needs and parameters of a lot of different devices, which will help counteract this effect.
It's hard to predict what the hottest new tech gadgets of the 2020's are going to be, especially since there are plenty of 2010's years left. However, it seems that smart watches might fit the bill in the meantime, and they're already available today and becoming more and more popular among the enthusiastic early adopters of the world.
Smart watches have very small screens indeed, even when compared to the mobile devices that they might partly replace. You need to make sure some of your web applications and websites will manage to fit the tiny screens of the smart watches, and responsive web designs are going to be like that before long. At the moment, getting a web browser to occupy a screen that is as tiny as what people are going to find on a smart watch is very difficult. However, if you're a web developer and you're looking for an exciting new problem to try to tackle, you've found one.
Predicting what's going to come after smart phones is hard, and it's easy harder to predict what's going to become of smart watches or when smart phones are going to end. Flip phones were everywhere even a few years ago. Smart watches look like they're going to be huge, but there have been plenty of tech devices that proved to be merely a flash in the pan. The people who are able to tell which is which will usually wait to let you know until history has already proven them right.
However, regardless of the exact future of tech devices or whether the screens are going to get smaller, larger, or more multifaceted, the websites of the future need to be responsive enough to cope with them and adapt to them. Websites themselves need to embrace the constant of change.
People won't need to constantly update their websites in order to make them modern enough for the times, and they won't need to create new ones just in time for the hot new tech device that is going to replace the hot new tech device of today. Your responsive new website will just change in proportion to the needs of this hot new tech device. As such, your website will last longer, and so will you.