We experience the internet through our mini pocket computers right now, using interfaces that we are used to. That is set to change in a way that will make how we experience the internet unrecognisably different, but at the same time, if people like me do their jobs well, effortlessly. As a UI/UX developer, I aim to create interfaces and processes to make the user experience of a website or application easier, faster, and better.
Something we can start doing now and should be thinking about more is ‘Responsive Web Development’. “We are already doing this,” I hear you scream. Well, yes and no. We can indeed make websites adapt to different devices, but what if I said it is possible to give your differing demographics different experiences of your website based on their age? An older adult, for instance, may prefer bigger type or muted colours. On the other hand, a child of seven may be drawn to brighter colours or content that will engage them more appropriately.
Imagine the Argos website. It contains thousands of products and offers ways of finding what you need as an adult, but if you are a seven-year-old child, you’re only interested in items that apply to your age and maybe gender. So suddenly, the website offers a more limited range of products appropriate for the seven-year-old child and perhaps even a simple way to share the item with Mum or Dad.
If you take anything away from this article, I hope it is that we should be planning to use technologies that seem futuristic. Planning to use them now before the technology becomes mainstream will mean that we are engaging our audiences when it arrives instead of trying to catch up when it is already here.