No, this isn’t a post to tell you what the hottest buzzword in mobile development right now: responsive web design. It’s not even a real description of the term. I would hope that you expect more from your tech blogs than that. I’m assuming if you are still here, that you are familiar with the concept.
I’d merely like to reaffirm everyone’s sense of web design and offer some of my experiences with #rwd.
This article from Webdesigner Depot puts many of the myths and fears to rest regarding the concept. My favorite part is where as designers we can forget about the user and focus on how cool it is to see the site’s layout changes based upon the size of our window.
The point of a responsive web site is to allow the content to easily shift for multiple aspect ratios. A decade ago, that meant different monitor sizes for desktop machines. Really, the main focus of responsive design is for mobile devices. With that being the case, shouldn’t we just focus on building a better mobile version of what we currently have?
GigaOm is yet again leading the tech-blogging field by doing just that. Yes, their new site is responsive and looks really cool when you take the bottom right corner of your browser and drag it around. Instead of focusing on that (which normal users rarely do), I opened the site on my iPad and iPhone to check out the content. Regardless of portrait or landscape, tablet or phone, the site looked amazing. That is designing with the user in mind.
To be fair, most web designers already use responsive elements. HTML and CSS are by definition, responsive. We just need to look at ways to tweak our content to make it easily viewable on mobile devices, because web traffic is moving at an ever-increasing rate to those devices.
So take a deep breath, and don’t be afraid to bring up #rwd up in your next pitch session. Think of your users and how to improve their mobile experience and responsive design will naturally flow.