Tag Archive for: device-agnostic

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “It’s March! It’s too late to be making predictions for 2013!” You’re right, and I normally write off any list coming out at this point, but a full ebook analyzing what is coming up in web design trends should perk the ears of any web designer trying to stay up to date.

The team at Awwwards released an ebook called Web Design and Mobile Trends for 2013 in mid February with some analysis, but they weren’t done there. They took the feedback they received on their opinions, created a new list with ten key trends web designers should be aware of and re-released the ebook with corrections last week.

Their list doesn’t reinvent the wheel. I’ve already written about a fair number of their trends such as flat design supposedly usurping skeuomorphism, device or technology agnostic designs, and content first approaches. What the list does is show what the public is talking about, and what web designers are doing.

For example, I scarcely believe that any style of design like flat design or skeuomorphism will ever be monolithic on the web, but there are a few aesthetic and technical reasons to believe flat designs will continue to become more prominent. First, web design is refining itself towards a more minimalistic layout as designers are learning that clutter is an enemy. Secondly, The wide variety and quality of devices connecting to the internet creates a need for designs that will look and perform great on fancy new retina displays as well as on mobiles in the non-western market with likely slower internet connections and eReaders.

Meanwhile, predictions like going content first on your website seem like they should always have been common sense, but less advanced algorithms couldn’t favor in the past. As Google has improved their spam fighting campaign, questionable backdoor habits have been thrown out in favor of creating websites people will want to see.

It is always best to let the people making their predictions qualify them, and Awwwards is a great source of intelligent conversation on web design, so I highly advise reading their ebook and checking out their list.

If you look at the tags for most articles on responsive design, you will notice the way most writers connect responsive design to mobile design. Thinking of responsive design as a mobile design method kind of misses the point however.

When Ethan Marcotte first coined the term ‘responsive design’, he wrote, “responsive design is not about ‘designing for mobile’. But it’s not about ‘designing for the desktop’, either. Rather, it’s about adopting a more flexible, device-agnostic approach to designing for the web.”

So what exactly is device-agnosticism? It is the main selling point of responsive design. The device-agnostic approach to design is designing for every device at the same time, or focusing on no specific device. PC Magazine defines it simply as saying the approach is “not tied to a particular device.”

I won’t say more about the benefits of thinking agnostically about devices, as it is already covered in just about every article I’ve done about responsive design. But, what I will say is I made the same mistake many have by slipping responsive design under the idea of mobile design. Thinking that way still focuses on the needs of devices. Instead, as Sarita Harbour from Web Designer Depot, explains, you should stop thinking about the needs of devices, and start thinking about the needs of the consumer. Isn’t that what is most important anyways?