I’m often told, and often guilty, I make blanket statements. I guess I do, but don’t we all? Especially when we decide we don’t like something or we’re affected in a negative way by something we had no sense of appreciation for in the first place. So what am I talking about? I haven’t been too vague about my opinion of responsive web design. I don’t care for it, at all. It’s not a good short cut.
I did a little more research, thinking maybe I was missing something and that it had some redeeming qualities. NOT! However, I have reached the realization that, like everything else, there are different levels of quality. I haven’t gone on a search to check out different sites owned by large corporations that can afford to have premium quality, responsive sites built for them. The sites I’ve come in contact with have been very frustrating to use. I also recognize and accept the fact that I’m a purest. Some might call it old fashioned, but it’s more than that. I like things working properly, doing what they’re meant to do. Especially technology, systems and procedures.
This isn’t a blog on web design, so I won’t go into great detail and technical terms to express myself. RWD comes with terms like fluid grid, media queries and flexible images. Working within this context is what allows the site content to ‘adapt’ to the screen size of the visitor’s device. It’s like a ‘one size fits all’ approach with a bit of extra elastic to pull in the excess. Or the neighbor’s Yorkshire Terrier’s doghouse expanding to accommodate a visiting relative’s Afghan Hound! Sounds extreme, but I viewed images of examples that were supposedly able to demonstrate that extreme. They looked good, but I’m still not convinced. They were the exceptions. Its not like RWD just happened yesterday, but it still has a way to go before its perfect. I commend the developers for being innovative, but everything has limitations, including, and especially technology. Isn’t that why it’s constantly changing, because it’s continually being improved?
Then there’s the ADA, audience and device awareness. I like the way that reads, especially the part about the audience. Isn’t that what your website’s all about? You put great content on your site in hopes of developing a interested and loyal audience, so why punish them when they decide to visit you from their mobile phone? I thought we built mobile sites so we could make our content available to our mobile audience. Why punish them for being loyal by giving them a site they have to stretch and slide around just so they can read it? Mobile users want simplicity which translates to being able to tap on links to get to another page, tap-to call, tap-to-SMS and all this with a minimum of scrolling. It makes me wonder if RWD was created for web designers who didn’t want to invest a lot of time building custom sites for different screen sizes or clients who wanted to annoy their customers by making them waste time stretching images and sliding them back and forth on their mobile phone screens.
I know you have an opinion about this topic, please leave your comments. I’d love to hear what you have to say. Tell me what I’m missing on RWD. What’s great about it?