Canadian Magazine Industry News
12 March 2012,     TORONTO
Creative industry veteran says 'responsive design' is way of future
A self-professed print lover is admitting defeat. Sort of.

Jeremy Linskill, design director of Zync in Toronto, said he has been designing for 14 years with a foundation in print. But like many others in the creative industry, he sees a stronger future in electronic media. "It is our job to stay ahead of the curve," he said.

It's all about learning and adapting to remain successful, he told design students during the RGD Ontario HeadStart Career Development Conference at the Toronto Reference Library on Saturday.

Jeremy Linskill of Zync
Jeremy Linskill of Zync

"Really question things when you move online," he said of web design. "It doesn't have to be [designed] the way it was for print. And that's why it's exciting."

He offered some interesting revelations about the future during his The World is Going Mobile talk. He predicts by next year, mobile smartphone use will overtake desktop computer use for web surfing, adding, "people who can't afford desktop computers and laptops can afford mobile."

To reinforce his point about the rising popularity of mobile, he said currently more than 35 percent of smartphone users check their devices before getting out of bed, while 80 percent multitask with their phones while watching TV.

The future will call for more responsive design, which is the automatic formatting of web content depending on the device accessing it. "The interface makes or breaks a site," said Linskill. "I think websites should become simpler. Simplicity is when someone thinks about the details."

Responsive design is the answer to keeping up with multiple platforms such as Android and Blackberry, he added, noting the Zync website itself is an example of one that uses responsive design. "It allows designers to stop choosing platforms and browsers, and focus on features and content."

Barry Quinn, founding partner of creative firm Juniper Park in Toronto, later added on this point during the conference, noting design is becoming "increasingly liquid" across multiple mediums. "You're not designing a thing, you're designing the idea of a thing," he said to those on hand. "It's killing print designers. They just can't give up that control."

This content was originally published on Masthead sister site, Design Edge Canada.

— Jeff Hayward
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