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What is responsive design...and why it's not the end game!

What is responsive design...and why it's not the end game!

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What is responsive design...and why it's not the end game!

So what is responsive design?

The simple answer is: websites featuring responsive design automatically adjust according to the device they are being viewed on.

Elements such as overall size, the position of various elements, the size of elements such as images and even the way functions like navigation menus are displayed adjust automatically to present the site in optimum format according to the device it is being viewed with, be it a desktop, smartphone, tablet or even a wide-screen TV.

With the explosion of Internet usage on tablets and smartphones, website developers are under increasing pressure to provide multi-device publication capabilities, and responsive design has created a lot of industry hype, but even the most sophisticated responsive design cannot satisfy all multi-device functionality requirements, especially in the transactional website environment.

Not even the most creative responsive design can accommodate optimum simultaneous display of all website functions on both a 4 inch smartphone and a 60 inch wide-screen TV.

There are some functions, like shopping carts for example, that are simply better with a purpose built interface for desktops and a purpose built interface for smartphones.

Best practice responsive design also imposes limitations on overall structure and layout of pages, and in the content management system environment, where the content authors are not necessarily web designers, this can also be problematic.

Until the next quantum leap is design, for now I think the best solution is a hybrid: part responsive design and part device-specific functionality.

We've recently completed development of such a solution and as soon as it's live we'll let you know.

For now, feel free to have a look at some other websites that allow simultaneous publication of the same content in both desktop and smartphone specific profiles that we've recently delivered:


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