Responsive website design is the standard for any company hoping to thrive in the mobile age as people view 51% of digital media on a mobile device. But what is next? 

In 2001, Audi launched the first website featuring a layout that would scale to a browser’s viewport, but a name for the interactive design method was still in the making. By 2010, responsive website design (RWD) was coined by Ethan Marcotte and RWD was ready to take over the website design industry with the dramatic rise of mobile device usage.

Fast forward to today and responsive website design is the standard for any company hoping to thrive in the mobile age as people view 51% of digital media on a mobile device. But what is next? If the history of technology and design is any lesson, RWD may no longer exist in a decade, and for companies looking to innovate, the big question is:

“What is the next evolution in interactive design and what will trigger it?”

With that question in mind, we asked several website design and development professionals to gaze into their crystal balls and give us their best guess.

Devon DeLapp, Principal and Owner at DeLapp Design & United Creations Associate

It's going to be an exciting decade. Lines will continue to blur between websites and mobile applications, with app-like experiences across all platforms. Users already expect their businesses to be accessible online, and we will see the access increase in the coming years. Forget just a contact form — real-time interaction will be expected. Virtual Reality may finally have its day in the coming decade, given the success of Facebook-backed Oculus Rift, and companies will rush to earn those eyeballs. For us designers and developers, we have evolving, powerful tools to create those app-like experiences. JavaScript-powered back ends such as Node.js and libraries like React and Angular make interactions once impossible now in reach for individual developers. And User Experience designers will push user expectations on what's possible for connecting, accessing data, and getting work done on those platforms.

Scott Simpson, Website Developer at United Creations

There are so many different, swirling, competing, complementing, converging technologies coming to the fore every single week, it’s literally anyone’s guess what will really catch fire. Everything’s got the potential to be a revolution.

What I ​can say, with a high degree of certainty, is that “web design” will all but vanish. The future is convergence, wherein my sunglasses tell my car, to tell my toaster, to tell my closet, to tell my daughter’s school, that tomorrow will be far too nice for her to waste in class. We’ll spend less time searching and more time experiencing​. Interactive media professionals will be crafting experiences.

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