What Responsive Design Isn’t


I’ve explained what responsive design is fairly exhaustively. We all know its benefits  and at this point it is one of the biggest buzzwords in web design around. But, with any hugely popular web design method, a fair amount of misunderstandings came with the rise in popularity.

Many people have read about what responsive design is, and they understand that information fairly well, but what most people don’t understand is what responsive design is not. Jeff Orlor helps clarify what responsive design is and isn’t, and by pointing out what responsive design can’t do, it is a lot easier to understand exactly what the method is as a whole.

One of the biggest misunderstandings is the idea that responsive design provides the exact same experience on every screen. This isn’t possible, and if it was, you wouldn’t like it because all text and images would be absolutely tiny. If you’ve ever come across an un-optimized page which you’ve had to pinch and pull at to see anything, you have an idea what it would be like if a page looked the exact same on every device.

Instead, responsive design squeezes the content from a big screen into a smartphone at the expense of some content – namely images and graphics. Responsive design doesn’t recreate the site exactly, but tries to replicate the experience in the best way possible.

It is also widely believed that responsive design is a huge time saver, because designers don’t have to design a page over and over for different devices. This means, yes, designers may save time in the actual designing stage, but responsive design isn’t a miracle time saver. Testing is still required for every device to make sure everything is working properly. That testing takes time.

Responsive design is going to stay around, as people show they prefer to get their news and other text based content from websites rather than apps. It has amazing benefits which most will appreciate, but, like every method, it has its limits.


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