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In the context of a web relaunch, however, we do not solve this task by asking the question “what do we consider to be state-of-the-art”. State-of-the-art describes excellence in the here and now, not tomorrow. The future of digital communication will be characterized by a multitude of devices, while the day after tomorrow will overcome the human-machine barrier.

The future of devices

We have all taken note of the announcement that the production of smartphones will cease in the medium term; we are all witnessing the dawn of the IoT age. We therefore reflexively question the expiration date of responsive web design. How will smart glasses and smart watches output readable information? What other devices will be added? Will websites be allowed to have a “design” at all in the future?

The evolution of web design

In all likelihood, hardware providers will read readable information via interfaces and transfer it to standardized templates on their devices to ensure that this content can be controlled and consumed by the user at a high UX level. The visual nature of the human being will try to defend itself against the impending end of individual design – but the technical adaptation to a wide variety of output forms will be uneconomical, so it’s high time to ask yourself which battle you want to fight.

The convenience of responsive design will end

We are moving into the future with responsive content, i.e. with individual information in different forms. The search result of the mobile search will far outweigh the importance of a website visit. Concrete and relevant individual information in condensed form will be at the center of consumption. Self-created assets such as language, images, moving images and enrichment via ratings, comments and links are becoming increasingly important – proprietary, closed ecosystems are becoming less important.

Thinking strategically about content

If we focus our efforts and resources on creating content, for different channels and in different compressed variants, and structure this (exclusively self-created) content using suitable schema markups as the basis for rich snippets, we are already taking important steps today for tomorrow. However, if we concentrate on self-devised and non-user-indexed structures of our unchanged content, we remain in the past. In the past, we have liked to use the image of the most important blind person – the search engine – but have focused far too little on it in our day-to-day support. Just as communication should be dedicated to relevance, technical background work must focus on dialog with search engines and new devices in the future.

The end of web design as we know it?

Regardless of how much individual design will take place in the future, the value of the core information about the frame design will decrease. Attractively designed, mediocre information becomes useless. It’s quite possible that this won’t be the last relaunch – but it’s pretty certain that next time we’ll move the “Web design” section to the backup slides chapter.

Back to today: the role of the designer

Today, however, we can once again speak in the language of colors and shapes, and because our design orientation must be compatible with future framework conditions, we are following Antoine De Saintexupery’s guideline. “A designer knows that he has not reached perfection when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing more to take away.”

Responsive content: The next level of customization

The idea behind responsive content goes far beyond simply adapting website layouts to different screen sizes. It is a profound change in the way content is conceived, created and presented. Responsive content means that the content itself is dynamically adapted based on the user’s context – such as device type, location, time of day or even user behavior.

In practice, this could mean that an article for a user on a smartphone is presented in a condensed form with a focus on text and important images, while the same content on a desktop computer is enriched with interactive elements, additional graphics and videos. For wearers of smartwatches, the content could be reduced to headlines and short summaries, supplemented by voice output to simplify handling.


The need for a paradigm shift

This approach requires a paradigm shift in content strategy. Content producers now have to think in multiple dimensions from the outset and plan how their content can be made not only accessible but also relevant and appealing on a wide range of platforms and devices. It’s no longer just about making content responsive, but about thinking responsively.

Technological innovations support responsive content

Technological advances in content management systems (CMS) and artificial intelligence (AI) offer new opportunities to create and manage responsive content efficiently. For example, AI can help to automatically optimize content for different formats and platforms and create personalized user experiences. The use of rich snippets and structured data helps search engines and other platforms to better understand the context and meaning of content, which in turn increases visibility and relevance in search results.

Regardless of how much individual design will take place in the future, the value of the core information about the frame design will decrease.

Norbert Kathriner

Conclusion: The future is responsive

The future of digital content is undoubtedly responsive – not only in terms of design, but also in terms of content. Responsive content represents an evolutionary step that blurs the boundaries between different devices and user contexts and enables a more seamless, personalized user experience. To be successful in this new era, content creators and web designers must work hand in hand to create content that is not only informative and engaging, but also flexible enough to adapt to the ever-changing needs of users and technologies. Ultimately, success in the digital landscape will depend on the ability to think ahead and adapt quickly to the ever-changing dynamics of digital communication.

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