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
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: