The Island of Misfit Responsive Designs, Part 1

The Island of Misfit Responsive Designs, Part 1

Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.

—Steve Jobs

Thousands of job reqs for UX Designers over the last few years have listed a desire for experience in responsive design. And, why wouldn’t product teams want to build software in this way? One design that has to be developed, maintained, supported. It simplifies a number of things. I have advocated for responsive design on a number of occasions myself. When resources are short, a responsive design is a MUCH better choice than just ignoring mobile. I mean… people don’t really use mobile devices to check the Internet or anything, do they?

But, as the conscientious designers that we all are, we must consider also the use contexts and experiences that lend itself from a responsive design. We should take a step back and A) figure out if responsive design makes sense at all, and B) understand what components of an experience aren’t handled by responsive design and possibly how to address them.

Here are four ideas that muddy the waters of responsive design just a bit:

  • Differing use contexts
  • Differing technical capabilities
  • Multidevice “smart” ecosystems
  • Challenges unique to responsive design process

Continue reading “The Island of Misfit Responsive Designs, Part 1”