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Web design is always evolving. New technologies, tools, and techniques emerge. These give web designers great opportunities to build better and better sites.
Our Aztek designers love exploring the newest ways to make awesome websites.
"Our creative team is really looking forward to seeing Responsive Web Design, HTML5, and CSS3 attain mainstream attention and support," says Dave Skorepa, the chief creative officer at Aztek. "Very soon, building sites to be responsive will be standard, and that’s a great thing for the web."
HTML5, CSS3, Responsive Web Design
HTML 5, CSS3, and Responsive Web Design (RWD) are recent additions to the web design tool kit. They enable designers to make sites that perform well on all devices and platforms.
Josh Brown, senior designer at Aztek, shares some insights about these new technologies.
HTML5 is the newest specification in the works for HTML (the language that basically makes up your website). HTML5 is exciting because it directly supports multimedia elements on websites in new ways. It ensures these elements can be experienced properly in different browsers and different systems without the need for proprietary technologies like Adobe’s Flash Player, which require a special plugin.
Highlights of HTML5:
- It works on all major modern desktop browsers and all smart phone/handheld devices. This is an improvement over previous technologies — some of which didn't work on all formats. For example, Flash doesn't work on iOS (Apple) devices.
- HTML5 is open standard. Unlike Flash or other proprietary technologies, HTML5 is easily edited and revised. Want to change that old Flash animation on your website? Better hope you have the source files, or that your original developer is still in business and can give them to you. Without those, and a skilled Flash animator, you’re out of luck.
- It allows for new audio and video standards that can be added quickly and easily to your site without the need for Flash or other proprietary software to play them. Your users will be able to view your new product video without first having to download other software.
- Better, more streamlined code means your site will run faster, and can be understood better by search engines. This can result in potential gains in your website’s ranking.
- HTML5 offers a broad range of awesome new capabilities, including 3D graphics, geolocation, device file access, client side stoarage, semantics, and tons more.
CSS3 is the latest version of a technology that determines the look and feel of sites.
Highlights of CSS3:
- CSS3 allows designers much more control over the look of your site. Many things that were only possible in the past by using graphics can now be accomplished with styles. This means the site doesn’t need to load as many files when rendering each page. This means your site loads faster. This helps prevent your users from abandoning the site because it’s taking too long. This is also helpful for SEO rankings.
- It allows for animations! CSS3 has two new features called “transitions” and “transformations.” These allow us to change the shape, color, size, position, and various other aspects of elements on your site. This allows us to give your site more interaction and polish without having to add lots of scripting or, again, Flash.
- CSS3 allows for media queries, which are a powerful tool for the next topic…
Responsive Web Design (RWD)
RWD is a way of designing a website so that it looks good and operates correctly no matter what device is used to view it. A RWD site will look and perform properly on a cell phone, smart phone, tablet, desktop, and so on.
Highlights of RWD:
- 53% of adult cell phone owners use it to access the Internet; 28% of Internet usage comes from mobile devices. Mobile devices are poised to overtake desktops in terms of internet usage by next year. If your site doesn’t work on mobile devices, you are losing out.
- CSS3 media queries allow designers to detect the size of the screen a visitor is using to view a site and adjust the layout and size of the page for optimal viewing.
- In the early days of internet access, before the majority of people had broadband, speed and page size were critical. They are again. Many mobile users have data limits on their contracts if they’re not using Wi-Fi, so keeping file sizes down is very important. RWD allows us to keep sites slim for mobile devices.
HTML5, CSS3, and Responsive Web Design represent great opportunities for new sites—or for updates on older sites. How might any of these technologies help your site?