Fall of the Designer Part III: Conformist Responsive Design(elischiff.com)

8 years ago from Ivan Bozic, Founder @ arsfutura.com

  • Ben MJTBen MJT, 8 years ago (edited 8 years ago )

    [Sorry for the ridiculous delay, I went on holiday in the middle of writing this and completely forgot about it.]

    There's quite a lot of this kind of very poor writing about

    Forgive me for invoking the arugmentum ad populum, but a lot of people regard that article as a landmark piece of writing about the web. Maybe worth a re-read? (http://alistapart.com/blog/post/15-years-of-dao/)

    It's also true that the most cost efficient website is no website.

    Of course, maybe I should have put a caveat that I meant savings made within the confines of the functionality we set out to achieve. e.g Building a site/app to sell X.

    Design does not exist in a vacuum, and we can’t continue to plug away indulgently for the sake of Design, with a capital D.

    Does it hold for an ecommerce site where mobile users are comparison shopping in a physical store? Does it hold for a music streaming service where mobile users are on the bus? Does it hold for a hotel website where mobile users are checking in?

    I would argue that these kinds of decisions are all part of the development process, (similar concerns are brought up in Luke Wroblewski's book 'Mobile First'). Responsive doesn't just mean rejigging the page, and if research suggested particular customer habits/desires, then these could be accommodated.

    In any case, none of those things are served by a static site, and building specific apps for each could get very expensive/would be awkward for users. RWD can strike a nice middle ground.

    Responsive design makes perfect sense in some situations, but some people treat it like the One True Way, and don't realize they're actually making a bunch of design and business decisions.

    I certainly agree that it's something that should be used on a case by case basis, but I'd argue in the majority of cases it does provide a net benefit. With an increasingly varied device landscape, unless the data was absolutely clear (e.g. 99% desktop access) then we are arbitrarily choosing a single screen to design for, the share of which could easily change in the future; something that designing device-agnostically avoids.

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