Unless you are launching a website for the very first time, you will know all about responsive design and its influence in the commercial world. What you may not appreciate is just how important it is in the modern age, particularly with Cisco reporting that mobile data traffic grew by a staggering 74% in 2015.
Responsive design is also an advanced and constantly evolving concept, making it occasionally difficult to determine how it should be applied in real-time.
In this article, we will take a closer look at responsive design trends and ask what they mean right now for businesses:
The Rise of Brutalist and More Flexible Web Design
The fundamental goal of responsive design is to utilise flexible layouts, structures and cascading style sheets to ensure that web pages detect each visitor’s screen size and adapt accordingly. This has thrown open the boundaries of traditional web design, enabling brands to optimise their reach according to alternative device types.
This has also ushered in the rise of a so-called ‘brutalist’ design trend, which is based on the post-war architectural movement which was characterised by stark contrasts and the use of industrial materials such as raw concrete. The same principle is being applied to responsive websites, as bold colour contrasts and unstructured layouts are used to optimise the presentation of core data.
There are also various ways in which brutalist website design can be applied, with the Bloomberg News site offering a relevant case in point. This site has used striking colour contrasts and white space to create an unconventional responsive design, for example, but it also represents a more subtle interpretation of brutalist design.
The Use of Responsive Components to Easily Alter Layouts
In many ways, responsive components are an extension of the basic responsive design principle. After all, these components adapt their size and shape according to various circumstances and device types, while Element Queries enable the creation of attributes that respond to the precise space allotted rather than the full display size.
The result of this is that you can dramatically alter layouts depending on individual media queries, which ensures that responsive design offers even greater flexibility to developers.
By embracing responsive components, you can continue to optimise your website in real-time without compromising on its design.
Reactive Animations Create a More Immersive Responsive Experience
This represents a new development in the world of responsive design, and one that has a host of exciting and consumer-centric applications.
Reactive animations are visual elements that respond to the specific action of the user, while they build on the growing popularity of emojis to create a more immersive connection between brands and customers. They also introduce an element of surprise in the modern age, particularly when they introduce emotion and humour at key stages of the customer journey.
We are also seeing reactive animations used to highlight specific areas of a responsive website, replacing traditional elements such as white space. These motion-based components can instantly engage visitors and draw their attention to key CTAs’, regardless of the device they are using at the time.
The Humanisation of Website Through Micro-interactions
Finally, we come to micro-interactions, which have been a key component of creating websites even before the age of responsive design. These drive the humanisation of sites through user acknowledgements, which occur in real-time and after specific consumer tasks have been completed.
This year, however, we have seen the emergence of device-specific micro-interactions based on the principles of responsive design. This is thanks largely to the sophistication of mobile devices, which has incorporated unique features such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and motion sensors.
Consequently, we have seen the emergence of increasingly diverse and tailored micro-interactions, such as Twitter’s mobile-inspired pull to refresh feature.
This trend will continue at pace in the months ahead, as websites become increasingly humanised and responsive to the individuals needs of users and their devices.
The Last Word
These are just four of the key trends defining responsive design right now, as websites become increasingly intuitive, interactive and malleable to the demands of specific devices. Not only this, but websites are also becoming more responsive to the unique requirements of individual users, as they look to drive immersive customer journeys across the board.