Jayde Smith Team : Web Production Tags : Technology Online Trends CSS User Experience

Can Responsive Design be wrong? 3 reasons says it can.

Jayde Smith Team : Web Production Tags : Technology Online Trends CSS User Experience

The number of internet users who are accessing web pages from mobile devices of varying forms is higher than ever and still grows daily. This means that you need to ensure that your website is highly accessible to mobile users. That is unless you want to miss out on a large section your target market which is forever growing.

Mobile friendly design is even more important if your users are likely to be surfing your content from mobile screens. According to many commonly accepted practices for mobile design, your best bet for creating a mobile site that works is through the use of responsive design, at least according to much of the latest conventional wisdom.

At first look this seems to make sense. Responsive design is a methodology that allows the various elements on your sites webpages to reshape and size themselves based on the screen size of the device being viewed. Responsive design can look elegant while providing enormous functionality to almost any website.

However, while responsive design can be very useful, it can also lead to some serious web design failures under the wrong sorts of circumstances.


1. Sometimes its unnecessary

For most, building a fully functional desktop site is much harder than doing the same for the mobile equivalent. So when you already have a fully functional desktop site, you likely won’t be tearing it down for the same as a responsive mobile experience.

Rather than doing this, you can create a mobile friendly adaptive version of your site and program your pages to redirect its way any time someone accesses your content from a smart phone. Not only is this much cheaper and simpler, it also has several other potential advantages.


2. Responsive can be heavy which impacts speed

From a number of sites where we have specifically researched Mobile users, we have seen that they expect the same levels of site load speed as any desktop user might have. By disappointing them you can create some extremely high bounce rates which can have the complete opposite effect to what you are hoping to achieve with your new build.

Mobile browsing often relies on weaker connectivity and lighter resources than what you’d get with a desktop, so it is critical that you create a mobile site that’s light and loads quickly — ideally, in less than three seconds though this will vary depending heavily on your content. This is where responsive design can really fail and it must be and can be addressed.

Going with a lean mobile design eliminates the above problem relatively easily and quickly.


3. Conversion rates can be affected

A dedicated mobile website delivered via Adaptive Design can be far better tailored to take specific advantage of the mobile screen. Responsive, less so.

This impacts conversion and I can assure you that no client will trade conversion rates (= sales) merely to say they are using Responsive Design.

Whilst Adaptive Design can achieve the same visual outcomes as Adaptive Design (on all screen sizes and at all resolutions), it isn't usually practical to do so.

Executed well, my experience is that Adaptive Design will deliver better returns than Responsive Design, especially for complex interfaces.


So, Responsive or Adaptive?

None of this means that responsive design is wrong, far from it. And it doesn’t even mean that you should always focus on more conventional mobile site formats. However you should think about what will provide the best experience and optimized experience for your website and users’ needs and go from there, whether it leads you to a responsive or adaptive design for your website.