dcsimg

Is Responsive Design Right for Your Mobile Customer?

  • Is Responsive Design Right for Your Mobile Customer?-

    One definite advantage of responsive design is that the URL remains the same for every page of your website. This eliminates redirect code and ensures that Web links will be supported on every device.

    While redirects do have to be considered as part of the overall design decision, the pursuit of a single URL may not justify the trade-offs implicit in a responsive approach. The same applies to the appeal of managing a single code base. For many IT organizations, one code base is the promise of RWD, but in reality the associated code will surely include a host of exceptions and conditions to support each break point (i.e. each supported screen size). Ultimately what you will end up with is a very big file with at least three sets of code lumped together.

    Ultimately the key to finding the right approach to designing for the mobile Web is focusing not only on achieving internal business goals, but also delivering the kind of experience that customers will appreciate and share with others.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Is Responsive Design Right for Your Mobile Customer?

  • 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
  • Is Responsive Design Right for Your Mobile Customer?-5

    One definite advantage of responsive design is that the URL remains the same for every page of your website. This eliminates redirect code and ensures that Web links will be supported on every device.

    While redirects do have to be considered as part of the overall design decision, the pursuit of a single URL may not justify the trade-offs implicit in a responsive approach. The same applies to the appeal of managing a single code base. For many IT organizations, one code base is the promise of RWD, but in reality the associated code will surely include a host of exceptions and conditions to support each break point (i.e. each supported screen size). Ultimately what you will end up with is a very big file with at least three sets of code lumped together.

    Ultimately the key to finding the right approach to designing for the mobile Web is focusing not only on achieving internal business goals, but also delivering the kind of experience that customers will appreciate and share with others.

There’s no doubt that the debate around responsive Web design (RWD) has reached the entry level of most organizations, achieving elevated status as a simple way to reach consumers on the Web, regardless of the device they use to access the Internet.

But is responsive design really the right approach to engage your mobile customers?

Roland Campbell, director of solution engineering at Usablenet, can imagine what you’re thinking: “What do you mean? Of course responsive design is right for our mobile customer. Everyone is doing responsive design now, and even Google is advocating for it!”

Before we break out the torches and pitchforks, let’s think about what Google is really saying. Sure Google recommends responsive design as a way for developers to extend content to mobile devices, but they offer mobile specific versions of Gmail and Google Plus, two of their flagship products. With one search field and blocks of content, for example, it makes sense for Google News to take a responsive approach as it is easy for content-heavy sites to repurpose the way the content is presented on mobile devices.

However Ethan Marcotte, who coined the term responsive Web design, states in his book Responsive Web Design, “most importantly, responsive Web design isn’t intended to serve as a replacement for mobile websites”.

Campbell has identified a number of key considerations organizations must examine before they decide to incorporate responsive design.