By: Aaron Criswell – Bayshore Solutions Senior Designer
As a web designer, every few years a buzz-word will slowly start to spread through the industry and be heralded as the bees-knees and if you’re not part of the newest craze you are behind the times. But is responsive design really the future of web design or is it just the current trend until something newer and shinier takes its place?
What industry problem does responsive design solve?
Well, we know the one big problem solved that’s easy to notice is that one site design custom fits across all devices. That’s pretty impressive, but in solving that issue did it create any new ones? Whenever you create a responsive site there are certain compromises that you have to consider, like:
- Will this work in every browser?
- If not, what versions of browsers do I want to cater to and which ones do I care not to support?
- Do my clients use the outdated browsers that I’m choosing to ignore?
- In that same argument, do I make design compromises to adhere to the outdated browsers so all the users have the same experience?
These are all questions that need to be asked when choosing to design a responsive site.
Changes in the design process.
Responsive designs should cater to all screen sizes no matter the device. Typically the design process for the desktop site is the same as any normal site with the added process of how the site will transition to its mobile counter parts. This is an extra step in the process because as a designer we have to figure out the best way to convey the content without compromising the design and functions of the site. All this means is more planning in the long run before we go into web design and development.
So, is responsive design really the future?
I think it’s part of the future but not in the way that it’s being heralded today. It shouldn’t be the go to route for every new website that comes through the door because I don’t necessarily feel that it fits every clients needs in the way they think it will. Choosing to go responsive really depends on a few factors that should be considered before making a decision.
For example, if you are a designing a blog or a simple information site that isn’t content heavy, then responsive design is definitely something you should consider. But, if you are a large, brand heavy site that requires deeper immersion and detailed content to better convey your message than you will have to make heavy sacrifices to your content when moving from desktop to mobile devices.
Every new project should be looked at on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes even a mixture of the both responsive for desktop and tablet and then moving to a custom designed mobile site for your phone is the better solution. At the end of the day you are really striving to just give your client the best user experience possible; creating a site that covers all forms of screen resolutions across the board. Whether responsive design is the future or not, at Bayshore Solutions we strive to give our clients the best solution to help grow their business and will continue to educate our clients on the best application possible.