When it comes to thinking about mobile web design, it is not possible to get away from two things.Firstly, the growing number of mobile users means that sites which lack the ability to accommodate portable devices are heading for significant difficulties.
Secondly, responsive design is a major category of mobile web design. Overlooking its potential without taking a closer look at it may be a poor move to make. Web design is a complicated business, so getting expert assistance is essential. However, it may be a problem to choose between consultancies if a site owner lacks basic knowledge of this vital area.
Responsive design: one of several options
There are a few alternatives to responsive design, but it remains a prominent choice in the eyes of many commentators. A site which goes down the responsive path does not need another site. Content will alter to fit the size of the screen on the viewing device. Responsive design has been praised for its simplicity and has been popular for some time now.
Criticisms of responsive design
There are some people who think that the fact the user does not get a separate experience to fit their device is a serious disadvantage of responsive design. A possible drawback to the approach is that a desktop user could want more from a site than a mobile user. They might feel that the content they are getting has been reduced in quality to make it appropriate for smartphone users. Critics argue that the behavioural differences between users of desktops, smartphones and tablets are too significant to ignore. In addition, they think that responsive design can lead to users of smartphones having long waits as different types of content lengthens loading times.
A defence of responsive design
A site can be adjusted to make sure that some of the arguments levelled against responsive design by its critics are not so telling. Not every site needs to cater for different user experiences to the same extent. As long as content is polished, it does not have to be huge in volume. If videos and images are taken off the site then this will speed up loading times. It is possible to overstate differences in the behaviour of tablet users and desktop PCs. Sometimes these differences are more about the time we use these things than about anything really substantial. Responsive design might therefore be an acceptable solution in a wide range of cases.
Some practicalities associated with responsive design
A skilled consultant will examine the content management system of a site to make sure that it is compatible with responsive design. They will also learn plenty from existing examples of successful responsive design. Templates and tools may be used to get them where they want to go.
Responsive design is not always the answer to site dilemmas. However, sites which have to adjust to the mobile age need to confront their design issues before they get left behind. This means that an appreciation of the potential advantages and disadvantages associated with responsive design is a positive step forward.