Friday, 29 August 2014

Let's drop ‘Responsive’ from Responsive Design

In a meeting a while back, a client who had their web site built on a shoestring asked me with a slightly panicked expression: is my web site ‘Responsive’? I looked at the site and squished the browser around some and saw rudimentary things happen to the layout. It didn't look great. The only answer I could give to try and appease the anxiety of said client was 'a bit’.

It did make me start to question what Responsive Design was and question all the current 'attempted' classifications around fluid, reactive and adaptive, etc. I won’t go into the detail here, but you can use the interweb to find out more :

The truth is that there is no one answer and the lines between fluid, responsive and adaptive design are blurred and ever changing in a world which is producing devices of varying dimensions and capabilities faster than people can pour buckets of ice over their heads.

Responsive Design is not an end state, it is a process which tries to deal with many challenges of building web applications that can be viewed from your phone through to your TV through to gigantic projections on one side of the Grand Canyon (should it be so lucky).

The challenges are centered around these areas: