Let’s look at the past before delving into the future of web design and development. Many say that inspiration for the future always comes from the past.
The web started with a crusty looking computer that could do awesome things for the time. Even so, nothing really changed for 20 years other than functionality and speed. As we moved into the 2000 things started to change and now we have every type of device one could imagine and probably more.
Will our devices bring inspiration in web design
We are no longer living in the past and things are changing more rapidly than we could imagine. Not too many years ago it was quite simple to bypass payment systems and use software or other programs without paying. Now this is much harder to do and in some circumstances is almost impossible.
We have smart devices, dumb devices, netbooks , note books, game consoles, internet enabled tv’s and a hole lot more. If you take a closer look at the options it could become overwhelming. All the things that exist today are the future of tomorrow from a tweeting refrigerator, printers with detachable tablets etc.
Nobody knows, not even the best in the world, what the future landscape will look like. So it’s impossible to say we actually create anything that’s truly future proof. We hear this a lot – many developers will say that we need to future proof our website or the peripherals that prop up our online presence.
Is it impossible to future proof the web
Just because we say it is impossible to future proof it doesn’t mean we can’t take certain actions that will help us prepare for a better and developing future and what’s in store. So really that’s what being future friendly is all about. It’s really acknowledging and embracing the unpredictability of the future. Change is the only constant which is thrown around alot in developers circles.
In order to change how we operate we probably need to change how we think and act within our immediate environment and within the concept of what we have control of. Easily the biggest thing we can do as a person of the future is to focus. Focus on the positives and the new world. People are becoming better informed and smarter – their capacity to brush aside bullshit will leave many behind.
How often does one go to a website that claims to have the content you are looking for only to be greeted with banners, adverts, unrelated content and somewhere in the middle is what you are actually looking for. On these websites there are annoying popup banners that claim to save your world if you only buy the potential crap they are selling.
Every time this happens, the increasingly smarter and well informed user gives the website the proverbial middle finger (screw you) and moves onto a website that meets their needs. We are now getting really really good at circumventing all the ads and other roadblocks to getting content that actually meets our wants and needs.
Focus drives innovation and inspiration
So it has never been more important to really focus on what you’re working on and what you do. Focus, focus and focus. It could be a website, a business, a CAD design of your product. But whatever it is must be something that makes your service or product stand out from the noise that the internet creates.Its absolutely essential to define what you do and focus on that and everything else will fall in place.
One of the great new world quotes from “Stephanie Rieger ” says “The most valuable products will be designed to live beyond the device, context or technology they were originally designed for ”.
What we are seeing more and more of is that mobile users are doing anything and everything a desktop user can do. Giving people what they want is the future. Maybe the idea is to give people what they desire and want via the web. Developers must be able to get their content ready to go anywhere because it’s going to have to go everywhere.
It’s becoming really hard to draw a definite line between what is a desktop, tablet and mobile. They are becoming one in the same or at least the content to be relevant must present the content the same or at least very similar on every device.
Responsive design is just the start
Responsive design has developed into a number of tools that helps the developer cross boundaries that once almost seemed impossible. Fixed dimensions of the web are becoming a thing of the past and the future will be somewhat about flow. How content flows and contributes to the user experience. An experience that will be demanded by business. The web doesn’t have the constraints of the past.
Devices and systems are now starting to communicate with each other. Is this the future? Right now we can communicate with our surroundings more and more. One example of this is a COVID-19 App designed in Australia. This detectives, via bluetooth, when a person has been in contact with another person for more than fifteen minutes. There may be some ethical issues around this but like all innovation there will be may that reject the first concept design of anything.
What we are getting at is that we can’t know what will be under the Christmas trees in one, two, three or more years from now. But that’s what we need to be designing for now – anticipating what we will want to put under our christmas trees of the future.
Where to in web design inspiration and the future
One of the best things we could do and to be more future friendly is to be more present friendly. Be more aware of the devices that are out there today – do a better job at supporting operating systems and get your content in front of more people. We have to continue to move forward. We are in a very new web, it is only 25 years old and that is pretty young in real terms.
There is so much to learn and so much evolution to come. One activity that will help you future proof is to keep an open mind. People go to solve the same problem in many different ways. One of those different ways will have a pathway to something new and mind blowing so will you be the one to find it.
There are currently 6 billion mobile subscriptions in the world, but only 4.5 billion people have access to the web. The trajectory is up. With more and more people having mobile devices and access to the web. What better problem to have than to analyse where the web can go, who it can reach, how it gets used and why it matters so much.