The Point of Responsive Web Design

| September 13, 2012 | 10 Replies

Brad Frost published an article on his blog about how some people are considering responsive web design to be the savior to website design, claiming it to be “the end-all, be-all of website construction.”

Frost dictates in his article, which you can find here, that “your visitors don’t give a shit if your website is responsive,” which I find to be 100 percent true. What’s most important is that the end user has a good experience across all platforms–especially mobile–by having your website load quickly and without awkward or broken interaction.

Another point is that while it’s good for websites to be fluid, most people are attacking responsive web design as a way to “out-media-query each other” by including “750 media queries” and jumping through “100,000 hoops just so they can proclaim ‘Yes! My site is Grade-A, grass-fed, 100 percent Certified Responsive.’”

Frost’s main point, is that the end-goal is to have a website that is best optimized for your audience on all devices, whether it be a laptop, tablet or smartphone, and it’s your job to figure out what the best means to that end would be. However, don’t jump on the “responsive web design” bandwagon without asking first if responsive is the best way to go.

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What do you think about responsive web design? Is it the cure for the overload of browser-size options? Or should we design specifically for each device? Tell us what you think in the comments below! 

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    About the Author ()

    Sara is a Kent State University alumna with a degree in public relations.

    Comments (10)

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    1. Sara says:

      Thanks for your responses! I love hearing other people’s opinions about RWD. If you sign up for our email newsletter, you’ll get more of these great posts sent to you every week.

    2. Hi Sara. You’ve put together a very interesting article here. I completely agree that user experience should be at the forefront of the designers mind when putting together a new site.

      Best wishes, Alex.

    3. Joe Boyle says:

      I think responsive web design is important to a point. I think your design should look good and the same universally, but to an extent, it’s not worth jumping through the hundreds of hoops that you do. I wish I had began making my designs responsive while I originally coded them, but that’s not possible – you have to move on now.

      I think that it’s better to do two things when creating or altering a design:

      1) Check Google Analytics for your websites and see what devices are generally found viewing your website. If browser XWY hasn’t even been used to view your website, don’t stress it – it’s not a big deal.

      2) Do some research for the typical user-level that will view websites in your niche. If most are beginners, don’t expect them to use super high-tech browsers or computers.

      With this information, you can optimize your website design for those specific browsers/resolutions/Operating Systems, and then let the rest just be as it. Great post :)

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