What Is The Device-Agnostic Approach To Design?

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If you look at the tags for most articles on responsive design, you will notice the way most writers connect responsive design to mobile design. Thinking of responsive design as a mobile design method kind of misses the point however.

When Ethan Marcotte first coined the term ‘responsive design’, he wrote, “responsive design is not about ‘designing for mobile’. But it’s not about ‘designing for the desktop’, either. Rather, it’s about adopting a more flexible, device-agnostic approach to designing for the web.”

So what exactly is device-agnosticism? It is the main selling point of responsive design. The device-agnostic approach to design is designing for every device at the same time, or focusing on no specific device. PC Magazine defines it simply as saying the approach is “not tied to a particular device.”

I won’t say more about the benefits of thinking agnostically about devices, as it is already covered in just about every article I’ve done about responsive design. But, what I will say is I made the same mistake many have by slipping responsive design under the idea of mobile design. Thinking that way still focuses on the needs of devices. Instead, as Sarita Harbour from Web Designer Depot, explains, you should stop thinking about the needs of devices, and start thinking about the needs of the consumer. Isn’t that what is most important anyways?


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