Responsive Design or User Interface Design-A glimpse of major web design trends
What is a Responsive Web Design (RWD)?
Thanks to the vast range of electronic devices available today, from desktops to laptops, Tablets, Smartphones, & now even smart TVs, the number of users has increased tremendously compared to the previous scenario. This results in web design companies ushering in a more interactive environment where people can make an easy transit between pages even if accessing on different devices. A Responsive Web Design (RWD) means unique web content source which can be accessed in a readable manner when viewed across different screen sizes. RWD actually helps to save money & time due to the fact that a single design has to be dealt with in order to make any changes in the future.
How it differs from a traditional User Interface (UI) design?
A RWD might be an ideal option in some cases but in others more user interaction is required in terms of a traditional user interface experience where people expect different kinds of visual appeal & utility when working on different devices. RWD works best when a website is content driven, as users will give more importance to reading the content rather than interacting with the website. On the other hand, a traditional UI design focuses more on the positioning of elements in such a manner so as to provide a thorough understanding of the website in the most simplistic way. RWD does not focus on what exactly to offer but instead it focuses on how exactly to offer, whereas a UI works just the opposite way. Here we can easily interpret that a RWD could be more effective on the developer’s side but a UI certainly turns out to be a winner as far as the users are concerned.
Pros & Cons:
Both have their own advantages & disadvantages. A RWD provides customized content with the help of a single design. This makes it easy for users to modify the content in the most cost effective manner for a long term ownership as compared to traditional UI design which needs to be modified differently for different devices. But in the case of a UI design, every device has a different interface. It entices users to go for different website styles for different devices compared to RWD which has a same single design for all versions. Developers strive to go for a RWD because in that way they can prepare sites or applications for all sizes which can be much easier to maintain. But RWD can be very slow when it comes to the loading of images because big or small screen, the image needs to be large enough.
Companies should consider going for a hybrid design which not just encompasses the screen optimization aspect of RWD but also covers the user experience based component designing. In this manner the final output would be a website which not only fits to multiple screens but also satisfies the usability factor from a user’s perspective.