UPDATE – I’ve finally updated my blog to be responsive. Be sure to let me know if it sucks.
Over the past year or so, responsive has become a keyword that is simply on fire! I would go as far as to say that it transcends a mere fad and has moved on into obsession territory. The same obsession people have had over W3C Validation and PageRank, which I myself, fell victim to.
What I really have found myself asking lately is, is it just a fad, is it just an obsession, a viral word-of-mouth obsession, or, is it actually important?
First, those that do not know what “responsive” means, it’s simply a popular coined word for adaptive web design. The basic definition is that it’s web design that adapts to its environment on-the-fly without any redirects, to say, a mobile version of a website like m.website.com (as was common in the past).
Contained within one stylesheet are percentages (as apposed to fixed pixels) and @media queries that allow a design to adapt to any device, laptop, iPhone, iPad etc without the need to side-scroll, zoom in and out, adjust font sizes or anything else that might distract you from the reason you’re visiting the site in the first place, its content.
That’s all great, you would think it’s a no-brainer, right? Well, not really. In some of the online communities I manage it has become apparent that many people are annoyed by responsive design and wish for their website (and assuming their browsing of other websites) to display as-is, static across all devices for creative and user-friendly reasons.
It seems that most smart phones and other mobile devices are so sophisticated now, have such rich features and resolutions that people would rather view full-featured websites instead of altered or possibly “dumbed down” responsive versions.
Is technology surpassing the need for responsive design? Will it be obsolete in a few years?
I’ve just redesigned this very blog you’re reading now and I’ve already designed it as a responsive website, but I’ve currently disabled it because I’m simply on the fence the more I think about it.
Unfortunately, I really do not have a full perspective on the issue because I don’t use a smart phone, iPad or similar myself nor am I even interested. So, I could use your help. Please participate in the following poll and be sure and add more info and your opinions in the comments below:
Thanks for reading, Bryan