Top 5 Responsive Web Design Myths Put To Rest
If you’re like me, you spend a lot of time browsing the internet on your cell phone. These days, websites are often built using responsive frameworks to ensure that people like you and I can conveniently use websites, even when not on a desktop or laptop computer. There are many rumors and myths on the internet about responsive design that can steer you in the wrong direction. But before we talk about some of these myths, it’s important to understand what exactly “responsive web design” means.
What does responsive design mean?
Responsive web design is a term that describes not only a development framework, but also a design philosophy. When we say “responsive” we mean that the design, user interface and functionality should be a fluid, dynamic and uniform experience regardless of screen resolution. This means that websites and online applications should scale appropriately and work the same way, as well as be aesthetically pleasing, no matter which screen the site is viewed on.
Hasn’t it always been like this?
No. In the earlier days of web design and development, websites were made very differently. Before we had anything other than computers from which to view websites, sites were often created in what is known as “tables”. Tables were easy to set up and satisfied the aesthetic requirements of the time, but they quickly became outdated.
Later, websites began using things called “divs” instead of tables. This tool helped transition websites from looking stiff and dated and gave designers and developers quite a bit more flexibility to place elements where they wanted, which brought about a surge in custom website design.
Finally, sites stopped looking cookie-cutter. These days, divs are still very popular and are used in conjunction with numerous different elements that allow us to program our websites in a way that allows them to be responsive and change, dynamically, with different screen sizes. A good working example of this can be seen on LYSLaw.com, designed by Consultwebs.com. Go ahead and try it; visit LYSLaw.com and drag your window slowly down, making it smaller. You’ll notice how the elements on this page reposition themselves and scale as you shrink the screen. This ensures all elements are easily viewable and user-friendly, regardless of the screen size. Cool, huh?
Top 5 Responsive Web Design Myths
Responsive Web Design Is Just For Mobile Devices
Well, that’s simply not true. In fact, we just demonstrated that responsive works on a computer. Think about all of the different types of computers with all of the different kinds of monitors used to view content. Monitors come in many, many different sizes, and computers themselves can be set to display content at various resolutions. Not to mention the many options of tablet devices. Because of this, websites need to be designed responsively not only for mobile devices, but also to accommodate all of the different resolutions that desktops and laptops can have.
Responsive Websites Are Too Clunky
Some people argue that building a responsive site means you need to sacrifice performance. Also untrue. Take this site for instance; I bet this page loaded pretty quickly, didn’t it? It’s important to understand that any site runs the risk of being too heavy and bloated, which will hinder the site’s performance. As developers, it’s our job to make sure poor performance never happens. Building a responsive product does not mean that your site will be slow simply because it is responsive. Believe it or not, responsive sites can even be faster than non-responsive ones due to the newer technology they use.
A Responsive Website Is Out Of My Budget
This is a pretty subjective argument, but it’s one that is heard frequently. Websites cost different amounts depending on where you get them made, just like anything else. Most companies these days will not charge differently for a responsive site, and if they do, it’s not typically much more than a traditionally built site. In fact, most companies actually build responsive sites into the cost of a redesign.
Responsive Websites Limit Creativity
This is a common myth I hear when talking to my clients wanting to redesign in a responsive framework. For some reason people are under the impression that since we have so many moving parts and things scale, they’re limited to using certain designs and layouts. This, of course, is not true. When you work with a skilled company, the sky is (or should be) the limit when it comes to creativity. Your website does not need to be anything less than unique just because you’re building responsively.
Mobile Devices Aren’t Used For Normal Web Browsing
According to CNN.com, mobile devices account for more than 55% of internet usage. PCs make up 45%. Smartphone and tablet usage is on a constant increase, while computer usage has seemed to level out – maybe even begun a decline. Consumers are utilizing their phones not only for fun apps and games, but also to do everyday browsing on the internet, activities like checking bank statements, paying bills, looking for restaurants, checking movie times, etc. These, along with an endless list of other tasks, are no longer dependent on a computer. Don’t limit your site’s visitors by not having a responsive website.
There seems to be an endless amount of websites on the internet, and there will definitely be more to come. As the web evolves, we’ll learn more about new design methods and new responsive techniques that keep our web products uniform across all resolutions and platforms. It’s important to keep this information in mind for your next web project as you decide if responsive web design is right for you. Trust me, it is.