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There is Only Responsive Web Design

You won’t be building a site that isn’t responsive in 2015. If you do you need to have your head examined because it is probably easier to incorporate responsiveness than not.

A UI isn’t a UX…OK?

It’s not as easy as it sounds to create a user experience. Well it’s easy to create any experience, but the right one is elusive.

A UI isn’t a UX…OK?

It’s not as easy as it sounds to create a user experience. Well it’s easy to create any experience, but the right one is elusive. This is due to the simple fact that everyone is different, and although we all have certain we responses in common most are wildly different. So in short a UI isn’t a UX and we need to stop using the terms interchangeably.

It has been well argued that it is impossible to design a user’s experience. This makes sense in that all we can do is design the platform in which the experience is had and there are many external factors involved that simply can’t be planned for at all times. The interface is just a small part of the overall experience that to refer to one as the other is horribly wrong.

Let’s use an amusement park as an example of this. The rides are fun, but they are not the whole experience. There are rides, games, food, shows, and all manner of spectacle that affect the overall experience. Don’t forget the customer service because if a clown yells at your kid via some satellite internet hookup and scares everyone it doesn’t matter how much fun the rides are the creepy clown trumps all.

As a web designer we must be clear on what our role is. We are not here to put out what we think is the most efficient UI, it is what the most people think the best UI is. This is a holistic approach that must be used in order to move beyond what we are thinking and move into what the users are thinking. We are not the same. The average site user is going to have considerably less site knowledge than a designer. They want what they want when they want it and the how’s and whys be damned.

Consider content and internet plans for a moment. The perfect layout with exceptional load times and perfectly placed graphics doesn’t mean beans if the content on the site is a rambling mess of irrelevant crap. That may seem to be beyond the prevue of a UI designer, but not a UX designer! The user experience is negatively impacted by crap content so it’s your problem now.

A UX designer must blaze new trails and keep moving on to the next thing. You will need to challenge business roles and keep the UX evolving over time. Basically it will never be good enough but that fuels the change towards to best UX possible.

This is not possible alone. You will require the talents of many folks across a diverse set of disciplines and even if you are The Talented Mr. Ripley you just don’t have the bandwidth. You will need to be a part of SEO, content creation, social media, site performance and more. This isn’t even taking into account the many different devices the site will be used on. Responsive design may not be enough. How will your site operate on a watch, glasses, or a headband and beer goggles or whatever the next crazy wearable device is.

Facebook Simplifies App Development with React Native

Developers have been tripping balls over this project since it was announced since it will allow them to write code and see the results in only a few seconds. This, coupled with the cheap computers FB will be making available, means you don’t need to compile an entire project to see how a couple of lines might affect it. This may not sound like much but not having to compile an app 800 times would actually be a real time saver.

Think about it! It’s still based on JavaScript which is good from a compatibility perspective even though a little growth there would have been welcomed by many. It is however removed from a cross-platform wrapper which most internet providers will appreciate.. Developers will be encourages to use JSX, a Facebook specific JS variant that can be used to “hook” native widgets in the app. This is why the app doesn’t need to compile to see how it works with native widgets and how these add-ons appear to be true apps.

There is Only Responsive Web Design

So we must have a responsive site, but there seems to be many ways to implement it. Some sites that say they are responsive are not and others only partially so. There are some fixed width sites out there holding on for dear life but soon Google will punish them into submission. And not is a fun way, in a horrible SERP sinking way that means business.

You can thank the birth and growth of the mobile web as well as all of the Internet providers by zip code for the necessity of a responsive design. Having you site apear the same on a monitor, iPad, phone, TV, watch, boot, headband or whatever is what this is all about and it’s not going to get any better with the number of connected devices coming down the pipe. Add to this that mobile web is quickly approaching 50% of all web traffic and what you have there is a MobileGeddon or some other unnecessarily alarming term to mean things are really mobile now. This is why responsive sites have been embraced so quickly and completely.