Responsive Design, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
Responsive website design is now a must for all websites as more than 50% of all internet traffic is used up by mobile phones. On the 21st of April 2015 Google announced Mobilegeddon and soon after started to give search engine position preference to websites that were also designed for mobile devices. Since then almost every new website has been designed and built using responsive layouts.
The approach of responsive websites is to design a template that responds to or resizes it's layout based on the size of the device viewing the website. Screen sizes will vary from an oversized desktop monitor, a laptop, tablet or a small smart-phone and every screen size will adjust the template accordingly. Following are a few of the good, bad and ugly responsive design trends.
The Good: One Website, Many Devices
Since the introduction of responsive design, website designs have dramatically changed in order to meet responsive standards and in many of the newest technologies are gearing the designs to suit mobile devices more than desktops.
One of the most appealing aspects of responsive website design is that a website can provide a better user experience across many devices and screen sizes. This is an important characteristic, since it is impossible to anticipate all the devices and screen sizes that searchers are using to access your website. A site that works well regardless of these variables will provide a better and more consistent user experience than a separate mobile site that is designed for a specific device and screen size.
The Bad: Cost & Load Time
While there are many benefits to responsive design, there are still some minor drawbacks. Business owners that don't already have a responsive website will need to have their websites re-designed in a responsive format. Depending on the size and complexity of the website, this can become costly, in some cases starting from scratch can work out to be a better option as you would also be upgrading your website and it is much easier to create responsive website from scratch than to convert an existing site.
You will also notice with websites that use responsive design, the overall page load time will be slightly slower as all of your content is downloaded to your device whether it is used or not. If you have a large sideshow, the browser will download the entire full size sideshow to the mobile phone and then resize it to suit the screen size.
The Ugly: Ruined Desktop Experience
With the shift in mobile device usage accounting for more than 50% of internet usage, responsive design is important for most websites though in some cases we find that many new websites are designed to suit mobile devices and don't take into consideration what the website will look like on a desktop. The trend of creating huge flat colorful buttons, oversized images, large menus, buttons and sideshows that cover 95% of your screen are really ruining the overall experience for desktop users.
Responsive website design is certainly a convenient solution for viewing your website in various devices and it is indeed a lot of work when it comes to design and development but if you stick to simplicity and keep your designs r website is simple, logical, and has a lot of information that cannot be modified for mobile users – this is the right choice. First, set your website goals for both mobile and desktop version. Only with clear purpose you can make a decision whether to go for a responsive web design or separate mobile web.