How to build for the future

The web has changed drastically since it's inception and the means we use to access it are changing on a daily basis. We have a range of devices connected to the web from watches to 4K TV's.

Resolutions and screen sizes vary dramatically, and since Google's latest mobile-friendly algorithm update, responsive web design has never been more important. Below are a few steps you can take to ensure you keep your users happy across a myriad of devices.

Responsive

Mobile usage is growing tremendously. According to Cisco, smartphone usage grew 45% in 2014 and cellular connection speeds grew by 20%.

With new wearable technologies emerging and web connected homes, these devices are going to differ quite a bit. This is where responsive is so vital. It's important for your website or application to adapt to any screen size today and in the future.

SVG

SVG (scalable vector graphics) are an excellent choice for icons and graphics for your websites. They are widely supported on most modern browsers, with the exception of IE <9.

With retina displays, 4K TV's and what ever other insane pixel ratio screens are in the future, SVG will scale beautifully and always remain crisp.

Don't limit functionality

Since most users today access your site or application on a mobile device, you shouldn't be limiting functionality. Screen real estate is precious, but your content and interactions should be designed to be accessible on any device.

Users will hate if they have to 'Request the desktop version' just to be able to
get a piece of information or complete a task.

Be mindful of size

Although open Wi-Fi is fairly common some users are still on limited data or slow connection speeds. Make sure you minify your code, compress your images and your website.

Keeping your HTTP requests to a reasonable amount as well compressing as much as you can will help your load times. Most users will drop if they have to wait longer than 5-10 seconds.

KISSMetrics has an excellent infographic on user behavior and load times.

Using just these few tactics will help to ensure your site will adapt to any device that may be introduced in the future. In addition to scaling well, your users and customers will appreciate the fact that they can complete their journey to task on any device.