There is some debate and argument for and against responsive designs.For the majority of my customers I recommend responsive designs carefully designed and planned to meet end user expectations without compromising the ease of flow, easy navigation, and most importantly receiving the intended call to action.
…to build responsive
The following arguments support good reasons to build a responsive design.
- The strongest argument for responsive designs is in the overall trend that mobile devices are taking over desktop searches, shopping, and time spent on pages. You should review your Google Analytics data and see what percentage of your site is viewed by mobile devices. However, understand that low page interaction could be a factor of not being mobile friendly.
- Sites with heavy images, galleries, and an overall graphical message benefit greatly from responsive web designs. Mobile devices automatically stack the content, galleries, images, etc. for a very nice clean presentation.
- Brands and sites that have a simple message, minimal pages, and only a few menus make perfect candidates for responsive design.
- Single column designs without use of many widgets or side columns work well.This is because side columns, forms, etc. do not have to stack somewhere that the user must scroll endlessly to get to other menus, etc.
- Google favors responsive designs. That alone is a strong argument for building a responsive site.
…to NOT build responsive
- There are situations that responsive sites are not as ideal. A true separate mobile site is sometimes better, but does require a completely separate admin. Here are some arguments for not building a responsive site.
- Some sites that have catalogs of products may not be as ideal. If there are a lot of categories or products, the “miniature” version of the site may suffice. Check some of the larger retailers most are using a separate mobile site rather than a responsive design which gives more control over the user experience.
- Mobile operating systems are getting smarter about page presentation.There are some design formats that naturally show up very clean in a mobile environment.
- However, it should be noted that many sites still require pinch/zoom to view, making it more tedious on end users. A true “micro” versionof the site where zooming and scrolling left to right isn’t very ideal.