Device X is the phone in your pocket, the tablet on the desk, the PC at work, your fridge’s touch panel, and your Kindle’s e-ink web browser.
The frequency at which these devices come out and the race to the pricing bottom means they are everywhere and used by everyone.
So how do you structure your site to deal with all this chaos?
Martial arts can help.
For a while in high school and college I practiced a martial art called Aikido. Aikido stands for “the way of harmonious spirit.”
Essentially it’s a purely defensive martial art where you use your attacker’s energy against them. Instead of resisting the energy, you use it to your advantage.
Traditionally, websites were designed for the device they were to be viewed on. That is why web design had an average width and why many web design paradigms came from print design. They were all optimizing the design for the standard sized monitor.
When smartphones first started coming out (pre-iPhone), businesses made additional mobile versions of their sites to frame this new way of viewing content.
But you can’t have a tablet / kindle / fridge / smartphone / PC version of your site; that’s just crazy. You need to roll with the punches. You can use this chaos to your advantage.
That is exactly what responsive design is. It’s fluid and agile and will fit anything you throw at it. It’s also less overhead and less to think about. It’s just one site that fits all uses.
Continued innovation on device X is not going to change, either. The biggest change I see in the next 1-3 years is that nearly every device will have a brain and will be connected to the web in some way.
The best innovations have yet to be thought of, and that’s even more of a reason to future-proof your website with responsive design.