With most new trends in the technology world, they start out as just “trends.” When responsive design was invented 4 or so years ago, it was just that. responsive design although a great idea, was still a question mark in many developers heads, and it took a few years to pick up steam and popularity. For those not familiar with what exactly responsive design is, this article is a great way to explain it.
Fast forward to today, and responsive design has become the industry standard for efficient web practices. So how and why did this become so popular?
Lets be honest, I was late to the party jumping on the responsive design bus, but now that we’re there, there is no going back.
Below I have compiled a list of real life web development/maintenance/design improvements that have come into play ever since we switched over to developing everything responsively.
1. Design Seems to be more Uniform
When designing a responsive site, you’re designing off of a grid which lines up sections of your site so that when the website changes viewport, say to a tablet version of the website, everything will morph based on that responsive grid. Our design has tightened up now that we’ve implemented this grid during the layout process.
2. Responsive design takes time to learn, but overall is quicker for development
When learning responsive design, there definitely is a learning curve, especially if you’ve been accustomed to fixed width and liquid layouts before switching over. Responsive design requires a whole new way of thinking about how a website is built, and the overall landscape of the web in general. Let’s face it, you need to focus on mobile and tablet display almost as much as desktop viewing.
With that said, now that we’ve been down this road for long enough, I truly believe development time has actually decreased as we’ve formulated our shortcuts and techniques.
3. Maintenance is a Minimum
Before responsive design, the client was presented with only 2 options. The first option, they have a desktop site built that would look small and inconvenient on mobile devices. Or the second option, a desktop website and separate dedicated mobile site that the internet browser would default to when it detected a mobile browser. Mobile sites were and sometimes still are a good choice, however this doubles your maintenance. If you need to make a change to content on your main site, this also equates to you having to update it on your mobile version as well.
With responsive sites, there is only 1 site, even though it displays differently across 3 variations (Desktop, Tablet, Mobile). This means, you make an update to the site only once and it beautifully updates on all versions.
I’m sure we’ll run into many more benefits, but these are the top 3 apparent ones that really make responsive design the “go-to” for us.