Ovi's Blog on technology and the web

Future of design formats

When it comes to designing for the web or any type of on-screen presentation, the design is based on the format you have to work with. This applies to any medium really, but has been more difficult for the computer since it’s always changing.

The internet is causing even more format changes as the website goes beyond the computer screen and makes its way to our cell phones and living rooms. So let’s take a look at these merging mediums and the new formats we have to deal with:

Television and Computer

Having a TV connected to your computer to be able to play your music and look at your digital photos is becoming more popular. This connectivity is taken even further with the internet where you have access to online media designed for your TV. The new standard for television is the high definition format. It has a resolution of 1280×720 pixels (720p) and 1920×1080 pixels (1080p). And it’s not just the computer making changes to the television. This high definition widescreen format is causing computer monitors to go widescreen as well. These new monitors come with a resolution of at least 1280×800 pixels and go as high as 1920×1200 pixels.

Mobile Device and Internet Application

Functionality designed specifically for different mobile devices is turning into a model similar to the PC where the internet browser is becoming the operating system and applications are built through it allowing for even more functionality. The screen resolution for a newer cell phone is 240×320 pixels and for a PDA, 480×640 pixels.

Newspaper/Magazine and Tablet PC

A tablet PC is basically a bigger PDA as it uses a pen for interactivity with keyboard being optional. It takes advantage of using the laptop screen in an optional vertical format for the purpose of reading internet articles. The resolution is about 1024×768 pixels horizontally or 768×1024 pixels vertically.

Additionally, with all the content available online, design trends are looking at the print world for inspiration to make information easier to read using mobile devices. A layout designed for a cell phone will soon be similar to a one column of a newspaper, a PDA would be similar to a brochure and a Tablet PC will go magazine-style.

We are right in the middle of these changes and just a short while away from widespread use of these mediums catching up to the technology available. In the next year or two these mediums will become commonplace and the future of media will be fully realized.

Originally published January 29th, 2006