Howells.

My collected opinions on responsive web design

I find myself tweeting occasional opinions about responsive web design without painting a bigger picture of my actual view on the current state of responsive design. Usually crossed-wires ensue, people get offended, some get heated, and others start trolling me hard.

So I thought I’d take this opportunity to pull together some thoughts I have about where we are on the topic. I’m deliberately not going to link to few other resources, or name any names, because frankly there is so much content and opinions to read about responsive design that pointing out specific view points this early on is useless.

I’m also going to sound quite uninformed and ill-read on the topic. That’s because I am quite uninformed and ill-read: I try to avoid most articles and opinions just to try and form my own ideas. That said, as someone who has taken the time to read this (and therefore who cares about it), I would love to hear your own opinions on the matter and hopefully I can integrate them into this post and help it evolve into something more solid and useful.

An Ill-defined Bandwagon

I attend quite a lot of web design conferences (or at least I used to: most are now repetitive and offer little more than an elaborate Smashing Magazine blog post). Almost without exception, speakers deliver the same message: everything you do must be responsive. They demonstrate this by showing off their latest work, which looks pretty and technically well executed.

But often the examples are not real-world, large-scale, commercial projects: they are personal blogs, or for products/services that require just a few pages of content. While that’s great, and does point to a future where every site responds well to the device it is being viewed on, they aren’t sites that comprise tens of different template styles, or feature myriad types content.

Rarely this message is delivered with any caveats. The amount of effort to both design and develop responsive sites takes a great deal more time and money since you’re effectively designing one, two, or three more websites, depending on which breakpoints you decide is appropriate. (And what a luxury it would be to have the time, resources, and money to create large-scale responsive sites: most of us work on projects that don’t.)

The same speakers often talk about how denying that the future of interactive design is akin to denying global warming (someone said this once, I can’t remember whom), while others say that if you don’t design (and develop) with responsiveness in mind, “you can’t call yourself a web designer” (I know who this is, but won’t name names).

This last message infuriates me particularly for a few reasons. Firstly it was written by someone who is employed by an agency that seemingly has produced almost no responsive sites: at least none that appear in their portfolio, and secondly it must be incredibly disheartening if this is read by someone just starting out in the industry who has only just got their head around basic CSS and Javascript. And I don’t need to talk about the problem we have with education and encouraging new people to join the industry.

Responsive Design is Hard

The fact is responsive design is hard. For new designers and developers, it is very hard. I know my way around CSS and Javascript fairly well, and even I struggle a great deal getting my head around some of the finer points of responsive design. (Not least since there appears to be twenty different ways and self-styled best-practices to approach the problem.)

Because it is hard, many responsive sites are very poor. They are led by a need to have their practices accepted by web celebrities and popular thinking rather than delivering a quality product. The bandwagon that everyone is jumping on is very ill-defined, and the results are less than satisfactory. Even as I type this, the bandwagon is in flux, given the onset of responsive images thanks to retina displays that if rumour have us believe, will be more commonplace than just iPads later this Summer.

Anecdotally, none of my non-web-industry-friends actually like when sites resize and fit to their phone. It goes against the mental model they have of their favourite websites. They find it frustrating since suddenly, sections are missing and the navigation is pared down or removed entirely. Further, I have never met a client who is in the least bit impressed when you sit in front of them, resizing the browser again and again (I’m certain that it’s only us lot who actually does that).

In conclusion

Of course I’m not denying that responsiveness shouldn’t be considered when you start a new project. This site is responsive, for instance, because it suits the content: simple written text. But for a vast majority of the sites I work on, making them responsive would cost a huge amount of cash and take a lot longer to implement. I don’t want to force a client into investing in thinking or a practice that is still quite immature.

But if responsive design is a fundamental requirement, I would suggest taking some of Jakob Nielsen’s advice (I feel I’m the only person who agrees with this, however). Until we know how to make site usefully responsive, give the user an option to experience the full website.

I’d like to see designers and agencies should stop just talking about the tools and techniques of responsive design, and focus on how responsive design is woven organically into the fabric of real-life, practical, and well-executed projects. The designers and developers who consistently create great responsive sites don’t shout about it just to be heard or to attract new clients; it just forms part of their daily output. These are the leaders who are ultimately going to determine what constitutes good responsive design, and who will define the bandwagon.

Comments — 25

Matthew Kenyon on May 16 — 7:36 am #

Great post.

I have been looking at responsive design for a while now as I begin to build my new folio site, mainly because I am intrigued by the challenge but also because of some of the statements you have raised—expectation.

As a print/identity designer that has until recently only had to build sites for personal projects, speed and cost of build had never really been accounted for. Now that I find myself working on larger scale paid web work, expectations of what a site must do (for clients) and also how it should be built (peer pressure) are things that are of concern right now.

Finding good sources of info on what makes a great responsive experience, not just the technical hurdles is particularly hard. Not a day goes by on twitter without a stab at the common layout trend found on responsive designs (xx column > xx column > 4 column). It’s the scale down, roll back and repositioning of content that seems ‘the very hard’ part for designers, at least for me.

Ian Culshaw on May 16 — 9:33 am #

I think it’s great that we can have a methodology which aspires to be consistent throughout all devices but as you say, do we want to limit the interface to websites and leave active users floundering in a sea of the semi-familiar.

I’m a techie and I often grasp for a ‘view desktop’ version on my mobile for some familiar ground on sites I often visit.

For sites where the primary goal of the site is engaging users through reading so: blogs, newspapers, magazines, responsive design should be considered and if executed correctly definitely used. The vast majority of blogs I read are styled in a very minimal way so lend themselves well to being responsive as there isn’t key design considerations missing once the site begins to shrink.

For other sites which have some functional purpose or service I think it’s very hard, nigh impossible to execute perfectly on multiple devices.

Take TFL for example, I think it’s great that you can get a range of information on the website but when viewing the mobile version of the site you are shown a few options tailored to the mobile experience namely bus stops near you, plan your journey, journey disruptions. This has been well thought out and executed well and not responsive design. Perfect.

Another example would be a out shopping in the street. If I’m viewing the website on my mobile 9 times out of 10 I’m not shopping (given recent stats I may be alone in this), I’m looking for the closest store to shop in because I hate getting things delivered. Again this wouldn’t fit into the responsive design category as you would be loading an almighty amount of code to buy products without giving the user the functionality to do so. I can’t justify spending a lot of money on something I can see so little of.

On the flip side this would be something like HSBC internet banking; on the mobile version you get a fast glance at your balances and not much else, perhaps this is all you want; but what if you want to see your latest transactions, even the latest 5? This I feel could be addressed by the mobile version. Instead you click ‘view desktop version’ to access this (I’m unsure whether this is because of bad design considerations or me being picky though).

The real question that we should be asking (and keeps being asked) is not can we cater design for the user so all of the information is accessible in a pretty way but is the relevant information displayed in an accessible way. With function comes form etc etc.

I’m with you on agreeing with Jakob Neilsen. It’s more foolproof and you don’t risk breaking everything by fixing bugs for mobile.

mimeArtist on May 16 — 9:39 am #

I’m having this headache at the moment, I’m building a site for an animation company and also another a graphic design company.

For both we’ve gone along the line of making the sites adjust to fit the users browsers, but with this the client relinquishes control somewhat of the layout. Graphic designers, and in my experience animators even more so, are both visually intelligent, and also want to exercise a great deal of control.

The fact that they’ve no hold or view on how their site might look in a particular place scares them, so I’m looking to build CMS tools that give them that support so they have got control over how it works with different browser sizes. It is a lot more work, but it is worth doing, and can then be developed upon for new clients, so I’m willing to take the hit if it means moving forward.

Lawrence Brown on May 16 — 1:25 pm #

Leaving our industry aside for one minute and going back to look at this from a different stance, I think we have two driving factors that are worth learning about on a project per project basis.

Firstly, you mentioned your friends not being happy about alternative version views of sites when viewing away from desktop. Audience should sit first. Finding out how an audience consumes content is crucial, as is finding out how the client does this themselves. Made By Many’s ITV News website is a perfect example.

Secondly, what does your client want? More importantly, what is their motivation for a mobile or responsive site? “more sales or more page views” won’t buy it. That is a product of their brand and content.

Defining the audience usage and the motivating factors of a client will inform exactly how and if a responsive site is built, maintained and improved.

I would agree that at the moment it feels very much like everyone is slinging their chips down on the table without a care for either.

James Greenfield on May 18 — 11:16 am #

As a semi outsider the digital design and development community isn’t big on perspective at times. The industry’s infancy leaves it prone to lurch from one place to another and having to explain to clients why their three year old site needs a complete rebuild is pretty tricky at times. There’s no doubt responsive design is interesting, but it’s not a be all and end all. Great words as always Dan, time to convince someone with serious visitor numbers to give you a column. Not saying your numbers aren’t serious though.

Mattijs Bliek on May 18 — 7:00 pm #

I think you make a good point when talking about the costs and time involved with making a site responsive. Without wanting to offend anybody, I have to say that most examples of ‘responsive webdesign’ are pretty simple designs without many fancy elements. What I find funny is that a lot of web designers on one hand are saying everything should look good on every device, and that this is more important than a fancy design. But at the same time they also praise sites like http://nikebetterworld.com/, which would be pretty hard to make responsive.

While I try to make every website I do responsive, costs are a big factor. In my experience development time increases exponentionally as designs become more complex, since you’re going to have to find new design solutions, and write a lot more javascript as well.

In the end I think those of us without major budgets are going to have to decide on a trade off between site complexity and reponsiveness.

Justin Reynolds on May 19 — 4:12 pm #

Thanks very much for a thoughtful post. While agreeing that RWD isn’t right for every project, I do think it is the correct approach for most. I’d argue that website design in the years before the emergence of mobile had become rather lazy and bloated: multi-column fixed width sites with huge graphics and needless sidebar elements distracting from the actual content. Screen resolutions were going up, and bandwidth more generous: cue complacency - myself included.

RWD forces designers to focus. The actual content must be brought to the fore, and more attention given to typography, which was often an afterthought when text was being shoehorned into graphics heavy six column grid templates. RWD has forced me and my clients to think very carefully about exactly what content and functionality is required, and what is just trimming. RWD has forced me and everyone to raise their game. My clients - and more importantly their users - have been impressed by the results. And I don’t think it’s true to say - pace some of the comments above - that having to cater for - say - three breakpoints trebles the work: it perhaps increases it by about 30%, and with each new RWD site I do it seems less work: you just have to roll into your workflow.

The resistance to RWD reminds me of the landscape 10 years ago when CSS design was pushing against traditional table-based layouts. That battle went on for a few years, but CSS won - I think we’re seeing the same hard fought transition to RWD.

Elliot Jay Stocks on May 23 — 7:44 pm #

Great post, mate. And thanks for the link and associated very kind words!

I think you addressed a key point I’m starting to hear again and again: responsive design can be hard, and we (designers doing it) don’t talk enough about how hard it can be. And I totally include myself in that guilty party. There’s no getting around the fact that it does add time and effort (and therefore budget) to a project, no matter how lightly it’s implemented. Of course, that does differ massively depending on the individual design and the amount of stuff that can / should change with different viewport widths.

I’ve found that building responsively does get easier and quicker over time, as the concept becomes a more central part of the process. So much so that I honestly couldn’t imagine building a site now that isn’t responsive. That may sound crazy because the next project could be a massively complex one, but it’s like designing sites with tables: once you’ve done enough with CSS, you can never go back.

This notion of responsiveness becoming part of the process means that there are elements that can be tackled independently, and this is perhaps the biggest win for designers reluctant to fully embrace responsiveness. For instance, if you declare your widths in percentages rather than pixels, you’ll be ready for a fluid design, but if time is a constraint, you could still give the containing element a fixed pixel width and therefore have a fixed-width design that is ready — at a later date when more time or money is available — to convert into a responsive design. Declare horizontal measurements in percentages and vertical measurements (and type) in ems, and that’s half the battle already won. I’m constantly amazed at how little tweaking (with media queries) needs to be done, and with some designs (like the current version of my personal site), it’s hardly anything at all. Probably the biggest challenge there was taking a mobile-first approach.

So, I’m hoping that this comment may, in part, go someway towards changing your mind about responsive design. Not that you need to change your mind, of course! :) The problems you highlighted are very real. But I honestly believe that gently working responsive thinking into the process removes not only the burden of adapting to a whole new workflow, but — over time — the intensity of those time / effort / money problems.

Joe Alessio on May 23 — 8:14 pm #

I really enjoyed reading this article because it’s always good to take a step back and reevaluate “trends” that people are jumping into. I think your main point is very important, and that poorly executed responsive design (i.e. that which confuses the user) is a greater problem than not having a responsive design at all. However, the ultimate goal is to actually smooth the user experience and make the content more conducive to any device.

I’d say responsive design is the future and more than simply a trend, but at the same time we need to learn to use it wisely and well, as the community did with any new technology in the past decade. Thanks again for the great write-up!

Ben Callahan on May 23 — 8:18 pm #

Thanks for the realism. I do disagree on the point about clients and demos. I have to say that demoing #rwd sites to clients and potential clients has been downright funny to watch. I do understand that it’s probably only us geeks that are resizing the browser all the time to “see” the site respond, but doing this for a client is like flipping a light switch. They just get it—even if the use case is very limited.

Of course, this also creates problems for us; clients thinking they can effectively test the site for mobile by making their browser small, etc. There are so many reasons this is a bad idea…

And, one last thought. We’re starting to see more and more large organizations take their first risky steps here. At my shop, we’re dealing with large companies that want hard data explaining what the maintenance, technical, operational, etc. costs will be. Much of the time, it’s impossible to provide this kind of information because #rwd is so young—we have nothing to compare to. Time will tell if these techniques will last, but one thing is for sure: we have to start embracing the fluidity of the web. Responsive gives us one way to do that.

Tom Van Iersel on May 23 — 8:52 pm #

Creating responsive websites is indeed hard work. Much testing, different devices, you know. We try to get as many responsive websites out there as we can and consider the extra time and effort we put in an investment. There might be clients out there who don’t even know their site is responsive :) Making “real” projects responsive has thought us a lot. I think it’s the only way to learn. Sometimes when the time is too short or the budget too tight we still go with fixed width however. Maybe in the not so distant future we can make every site we build responsive.

Nick Dunn on May 23 — 9:31 pm #

I’m so glad this is being discussed because so many of my thoughts are echoed here. One major problem I come across is managers or stakeholders using “responsive” as a buzzword. “It’s got to be responsive!”, without understanding, or wanting to understand the possible repercussions.

I recently engaged with a web-celeb designer on Twitter who seemingly took issue at the exact semantics of “Responsive Web Design” (proper noun, as defined as a flexible grid, flexible images and media queries, in Ethan’s RWD book), and “responsive web design” (noun, the practice thereof). The discussion raised the ill-conceived opinion that if it doesn’t use all of the three technicalities (grid, images, media queries) then it isn’t Responsive Web Design.

That this exists as a proper noun bemuses me, and it should not be some protected species that must retain an impeccable gene pool. “AJAX” is no longer purely only XML; it encompasses a whole lot of other things. The term “responsive” should be allowed to evolve regardless of precise technical implementations.

I work in agencies which follow a pretty regular waterfall structure of scope, IA, design then build. Building mobile-first and responsive thinking into this workflow is really, really difficult. There’s no silver bullet.

Matt Menzer on May 23 — 9:43 pm #

Working on mobile web solutions for enterprise-scale clients, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the pragmatic realities of responsive web design, and the tone of the related industry discussion. While it’s true that many industry figures are talking and writing about RWD in absolute terms, what you have to keep in mind is that responsive design is still a nascent technology, and it’s speaking in absolutes that drives excitement for, and subsequently experimentation with and general adoption of, these kinds of new techniques and methodologies.

It’s a problem of levels: while the developers reading and commenting on this blog article are probably familiar with at least the basic concepts of RWD, and may even be likely to have implemented it before, the vast majority of developers out there are still working in situations where they have not been exposed to responsive design. It’s only through broad evangelism that this exposure initially happens: telling someone who is not at the forefront of their craft, “here’s an interesting technique that could be a valuable too, but it’s going to be hard for you to learn and then use practically in a lot of situations right now,” is not a good way to drive them to experiment with and learn a technique that really is useful.

Yes, responsive design is hard. Really hard. But part of that is because we’re still trying to define our processes (not just our design and development process, but everything from initial client approach to content strategy to maintenance) and wrap our heads around a fundamental conceptual shift. We’re spending a lot of time and effort (and consequently money) working out process and methodology that, in traditional web design, we’ve already spent the time working through and is already habit. It’s the overhead that accompanies innovation. So you’re absolutely right: we need to talk about process. We need to talk about the practical challenges, and address the nitty-gritty details. Now is definitely the time for us to start talking about responsive design at a deeper level. But I think we are. Conferences like Breaking Development and Mobilism are targeting developers beyond the beginner/intermediate level, and facilitating discussion about the practical difficulties of Responsive Design.

That doesn’t mean that the evangelists should stop talking though. They’re the ones who will drive adoption and get new people excited about the wide-open future of web design and development. It’s not an either-or situation. It’s a spectrum of learning.

Mark James on May 24 — 5:41 am #

Very good article however:

Having/building/designing a responsive site doesn’t have to mean every element on the size needs to be flexible. Adding a few media queries that hide big image slides (god forbid) and hide a bulky email sign up widget could be enough to make a site 10 time easier to use on mobile.

As Elliot said, little steps now like changing sizes to ems (even if you don’t then change your base size and your site remains static) will be a great first step towards flexibility. Then, when all of the unanswered questions (or at least some of them) have been answered, we’re all in a much better position to continually tweak sites to better exploit the benefits of responsiveness.

Lastly, the cost of maintaining 1 complex site is significantly less than running 3 separate sites. Yes it’ll take you longer at build maybe but then when a site enters into a maintenance phase, it’s so much quicker, easier and cheaper to continually teak 1 site than 3.

The biggest problems that are as yet unanswered (speaking as someone who designs and maintains a very big site) is it’s far too difficult for junior designers/developers to solve the problem of loading different JS for different devices.

Have faith though, we’ll get there :)

Russell Bishop on May 24 — 9:31 am #

On the note of “not being a web designers if you’re not designing responsively”, I agree that is a big crock of BS. Devices with small screens are MADE TO WORK PERFECTLY with desktop-scale websites. That’s why the browsers us Zooming, Panning and Scrolling. These features cover everything a small device needs to use a big website.

Regarding your point about your non-web friends finding responsive websites annoying, that#s part of the reasoning I put together an article for Responsive Opt-out Javascript which you may enjoy: http://russbishop.co.uk/writes/code/responsive-opt-out-javascript/

Harry Wiseman on May 24 — 9:39 am #

Great Post, I found myself being dragged into the whole “I HAVE TO MAKE EVERYTHING RESPONSIVE OR I WILL BURN IN THE FIRES OF MOUNT DOOM” which might be wrong but I think it is will eventually become a standard, although as you said I’m pretty sure it is only us that resize our browsers to see how it resizes.

I do think it is better to have a visually stunning website that might not be responsive I also think as it has been said before the extra effort put in to make it responsive would pay off in the long run with regards to the cost of maintenance.

Sometimes tho functionality would be the do or do not for responsive as you said for small sites its easy to do without losing anything but for bigger ones, including shop functions might need a bit more thought and planning.

Nick Dunn on May 24 — 9:43 am #

> I’m pretty sure it is only us that resize our browsers to see how it resizes.

A very good point, well made. And for that reason I don’t bother polyfilling media queries (for smaller sizes) for IE, because there simply is no point.

Rudy Rigot on May 24 — 11:05 am #

I recently wrote an article on Dev.Opera which fully agrees with you, and might even bring you some extra answers: http://dev.opera.com/articles/view/responsive-web-design-a-project-management-perspective/ I don’t really agree that no everyone is blindly in love with responsive, though, you can hear both the approaches out there.

Also, we do get clients being excited when they see the webpage being resized though. But most often, they’re excited for all the wrong reasons, giving in to wanting the “design thing” of the moment on their websites, rather than thinking about how it might match their design strategy. But then again, isn’t it our purpose that to give the right awareness and advice to our clients, so that they make a decision that they’ll find useful to themselves?

Tiffany on May 24 — 1:24 pm #

Thank you for this great post! As one of those pesky developers who works directly with the client, I find myself extolling the virtues of RWD (“Watch me resize my browser window. Isn’t this amazing?”) only to receive blank stares in return. Sometimes it is worse. Sometimes the client replies “None of my customers would look at the site with their phones” (Wait. What?) or “How is this different from a traditional ‘mobile version’?” Because, in their eyes, it isn’t. Time and again I am reminded that many of my clients typically don’t care HOW we get there, just that, in the end, we get there.

I think you hit on one of the most important client-relations issues surrounding RWD implementation in the wild - time and money. Even the time it takes to explain RWD and get the client on board is costly.

While I think it is honorable and future-minded (okay…and cool) as a developer to say that every site you build will be responsive to some degree, you are really talking about increasing your prices across the board to accommodate this change. I have had mixed luck in presenting RWD and its associated higher cost as a requirement. Many of my clients consider this an “extra” and simply aren’t interested.

Ben Callahan on May 24 — 1:33 pm #

@NickDunn, we (generally) don’t polyfill #rwd for browsers that don’t support media queries either, but there ARE times when it’s needed…

We recently built a contest site for a client who wanted the site to also serve as a Facebook app (embedded in an iframe at 700ish px). Something like 75% of their traffic on Facebook was IE 7&8. So, in order for this site to ALSO work as a Facebook app, we used a media query polyfill.

It is not typically our recommendation to do this, but it is appropriate sometimes. Just like #rwd itself—not always the only solution.

Derek Johnson on May 24 — 8:57 pm #

I would like to join in thanking you for a well thought out and considered post and to say I agree with large parts of your argument, particularly your reaction to the “you can’t call yourself a web designer” comment. Ian Devlin wrote a great post related to that at http://www.iandevlin.com/blog/2012/03/opinion/unfollow-the-leader

I also strongly agree that RWD is hard. Really hard. The CSS in particular takes a lot of thought, planning and constant rethinking, and that’s before we even mention advertising and responsive images which as yet are as close to unsolvable as makes no difference.

There are two points I wish to take issue with however. Firstly that large complex sites are missing from the RWD spectrum so far. I have been working with the Magento eCommerce platform and it’s a big beast. The HTML is all over the place and the CSS needs totally replaced for RWD to stand a chance. Now I know it’s not a large site by the definition you give here but it’s by no means a demo or simple content site. It is full of big challenges for the responsive designer.

However people like Eddie Chen, Matt Bailey and Brendan Falkowski have been taking it on with great results. I have also launched a responsive eCommerce site I can show anybody who’s interested. (Just let me know on twitter).

RWD is possible in large sites and is being done.

Secondly I think your paragraph about non-techies disliking RWD sites contains a bit of a contradiction. RWD (IMHO) is also about making sure everybody can access the same content and complete the same tasks across devices. Sure, geolocation isn’t going to work on a desktop and some non-essentials might be loaded not be loaded on smaller screens, but nothing should be unexpectedly missing for anyone.

If your friends and acquaintances don’t like missing sections and stripped down/out navigation I would suggest they are viewing something more akin to a mobile specific site than a responsive one.

Anyway, that’s my 2p and thanks again for the calm headed balance and reminding me that RWD is not sent from heaven to solve all the world’s problems.

Darren Crabb on May 25 — 2:56 pm #

The main problem is that clients see a web build as a single product, rather than a set of products. If you went to an agency and asked for stationary, you’d expect to pay for design of several parts of that stationary - business cards, headed A4, compliment slips etc., whereas for a website the public view is that it is a single thing, but generally understood to be split into two areas - design and build. In reality the programming alone is split into a multitude of areas, each having their own specialist skillsets - HTML, CSS, Javascript (and frameworks) then there’s the backend PHP or .NET, then there’s any database programming, security considerations, server setup etc. A lot of clients are blissfully unaware of the actual amount of work that can go into such things, let alone the time involved in then taking the build and bending in every different direction to match varying devices, each with their own little quirks. Oh yeah, and we haven’t even spoken of the SEO that the client expects to magically happen as part of the build!

My feeling is that 100% responsive design will come about but it will be a fairly slow development over time of software developers building the tools to ease the process, and designers actually understanding a bit more about what is being asked of them. We are still very much in a transitional period where many designers have only just left the print world and simply don’t fully understand how to design for web, which invariably ends in a tug of war between branding, style and practicality. I’m not pointing fingers either, it’s also a matter of the developers learning how to cummunicate with the designers to find a common understanding of the whole process.

Designers will need to have more understanding of the programming process and programmers will need to be more sympathetic to how the design is implemented across platforms, meanwhile the technology needs to start using more and more accepted standards to make the whole thing possible. It’s a slow process and I feel it’s happening, but at a slow rate.

Joe Lifrieri on June 15 — 3:57 am #

Hey man,

I love this post. You make some really great points about how it’s just another bandwagon. Trying to exclude people from being web designers because they don’t subscribe to the trend that came out a week ago is just pure hyperbole and dickishness.

That said, I’ve designed a really large-scale software application for the enterprise and its entirely responsive. It takes more time, but I think the result was way more worth it than the other options on the table. I think the point I’m making is: I love responsive design and feel like it does scale, but you made some really awesome points, and this will forever be the post I link to when someone says “every site needs to be responsive at all times.” Thanks so much for writing.

Jacob on June 15 — 3:34 pm #

A refreshing read.

Another frustration (and maybe another commenter added this and I just missed it) is that it’s an endorsement of this idea – which I will contest – that use-cases for mobile and desktop are always the same and the features/content should reflect that. For some products that might be so, but there are probably just as many where the mobile experience should be different and re-focused, or where it should be something between the two with a link to the full site (I’m backing you up on that one, Dan).

Narayan on July 26 — 4:57 am #

Never created a RWD till now. Budget would be a key issue anyway. First thing I thoughtwhen I read stuff on RWD was “God…This must be tough”. Googled this thought & here I am. And am I happy. What I too advocate is what Jakob Nielsen says so u can add me here (I feel I’m the only person who agrees with this, however). Thanks for shouting friend.

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