Visual appeal never fails to attract people to things; it drove us mad when we see things disorganized and cluttered. Those that are blessed with the gift of sight are the slaves for beauty. In some cases, cleanliness and simplicity are a part of that beauty. Even though beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, functionality has always been the reason for longevity.
Responsive Web Design (RWD)
is one of the greatest things ever invented in the Internet era, simply because RWD allows you (or your website) to look equally pretty in different kinds of gadgets. Your website will be able to be viewed properly in various types of device, regardless their screen sizes, and will be smart enough to adjust itself to present the content at its best performance. No more zooming in or out, error notifications about the page being too large, and goodbye to text-and-block-based interface.
The designers are happy with it also. As you probably already realized; designers are artists. They get annoyed if their masterpiece’s not receiving the proper treatment and acknowledgment. With RWD, designers are able to build websites for multiple devices, in just a code away. No, actually there are more than just a code, but you get it.Same website, same code, for multiple devices; that’s heaven-like.
When Ethan Marcotte nagged about mobile devices being quarantined from desktop sites, he just came up with one of the most popular idea in 2010.
Here are a few upsides about RWD:
- Consistency. The end user will experience the same feel, tone & manner and be familiarized with the website’s design and navigations through diverse devices. Looking for a frequent visitor? Consistency is the key.
- Visual appeal. Nice-looking websites (on any devices) will attract more visitors, related or not, targeted or not. This is the digital era indeed, but words of mouth still have the ability to create positive buzz.
- Works well for content-driven websites (such news websites and blogs). In smaller screen devices, the navigation will be simplified and only the highlights will be shown at the front, with the font already adjusted.
- It’s customizable. Yes, you could arrange a superb website with blinkers and splashing funky colors that’s popping out every 2 seconds, but please consult with your designer.
Tempted? But hold your horses, RWD isn’t all fluffy.
Here are a few un-jolly things about RWD:
- RWD have bigger file size than a mobile optimized site, therefore took longer to load/render on mobile devices
- RWD simply adjust itself to the resolution, and not the habit of mobile user. Mobile Internet is a whole different jungle with a whole different creatures compared to desktops
- RWD will eliminate any “unnecessary stuff” on the nav-bar. So marketers, most likely your banners will be gone (or squeezed into astring)
Few of the downsides given above are not negative sides, but merely considerations for your needs. Just because it works well for self-publications and content-based web, doesn’t mean it’ll do the same charm for any businesses. Yes it’s all about the mobility of the site, but we are in the times of post-pc era (or so they call it), thus, mobile presence and agility is equally important.
For now, simply re-examine your essential need before you’re going full RWD, because as pretty as it may seem, RWD might not fit everybody’s desires and preference. The idea of RWD is so big it became a trending mainstream today, it’s just a matter of time until a new idea comes up and start perfecting –or even superseding- it. In the meantime, let us enjoy the beauty that comes from complexity of the responsive web designs, explore it, and push it to its furthest limit.