One of the areas of WordPress theme development that I focus quite a bit on in this blog is responsive design. Most recently, I came across two specific elements of responsive design integrated into two distinctive themes. Both elements concern the user experience side of responsive design.
On the one hand, in this video I take a brief look at a new WordPress theme launched on ThemeForest called the Flipit theme by a new company called FD Themes, which promotes the idea of “flipping” content. This simply means that at the click of the mouse button or with a single touch on a mobile device you can reveal a reverse side to a content object such as an image for example.
On the other hand, I take a look at the latest theme from Press75, the premium theme company run by Jason Schuller. The theme is called the Series Theme, which is geared towards video content and it promotes the idea of what I’m calling a “one-click” approach to content interaction. In this case at the click of a button or with a single touch on a mobile device you can reveal an overlay containing more content.
Both approaches imply a “surface experience” of the website, that is to say, that you no longer interact with websites through weblinks or “hypertext“, but you remain on a single page and simply activate “hidden” elements of content that don’t require any depth of navigation.
In the conclusion to this quick tour of two approaches to responsive design user experience in WordPress, I talk about the implications of this type of innovation, drawing specific attention to the problem of dense content and how a surface approach restricts access and presentation of more complex data.