The Industry and Responsive Design

So, I’m trying to get a handle on where we as an industry are fitting Responsive design into our everyday business – we might have grasped designing with fluid layouts, percentages and em’s but from a logistical point of view, how have we integrated it into what we already do?

I want to try and get a clear overview on where we are at, as an industry, and I need your help.

If you can spare less than a minute, please fill out my very short, anonymous, survey here.

If you can spare more than a minute, perhaps five – I’m trying to put together a video of various people around the world just saying a sentence or two answering either, or both, of the following questions – no more than 20 seconds if possible. If you could send by close of play tomorrow (29th June) that would be fabulous!

1) What does responsive design mean to you? (you can be as candid as you want, if you find it a pain in the ass, say so!)
2) How has it changed the way you present designs to clients?

If you want to record it on your Mac/PC and send the video file to me via email (sarah (at) youknowwhodesign (dot) com) you will be doing the community a huge favour and make me smile. Thank you so much.

  • “…but from a logistical point of view, how have we integrated it into what we already do?”

    I had the same problem. I reversed “mobile first” definition and create my own boilerplate:

    It has been tested on a couple of projects and it really works!


  • 1 – Responsive design for me is about performance. There are plenty of really clever and good-looking examples out there which look great in different browser sizes but fail on actual devices.

    2 – I feel it’s improved the process in presenting work to clients as designers are more likely to walk through a design, show how it works and responds instead of just emailing static psd designs. It encourages rapid prototyping and makes it less painful to validate.

  • Your survey questions don’t quite fit with my experience in order to answer properly as I/we, the agency I work with have only done one commercial site responsively so far to test the water and so its not within our workflow. But never the less I think if your a company/individual providing that service regularly it should be integrated as standard because if your building your site/s fluidly content on a smaller scale is only ever going to go in one direction and so adding additional media css shouldn’t be a premium cost. However certain sections or elements that need additional thought/design such as the header/navigation should be an additional cost within the design process.

    1 – I’m still on the fence with RWD, I can see the benefits in some bigger sites having the page load content correctly sized for that device especially for performance when not on WiFi and general navigation but all sites begin to look the same especially on a phone with endless scroll and I feel claustrophobic using them which sounds silly but If I have a phone that allows me to view “full size” sites and appreciate the design somebody has done with the ability to tap to zoom on content I then don’t need a narrow uncreative version to read content. I might as well use Readability or some similar service to do that. So as a designer/developer and content reader I’m unsure on RWD and whether it should be on a project by project basis.

    • Clément Collier

      I feel exactly like you about RWD. And I would go even further…
      To me, it sound like its just a hype thing to do, with no clear value, when device resolutions increase everyday and “regular” website are really usable on good modern mobile devices.
      And more often that not, the RWD is actually less usable than the original version.

      So yeah, RWD for web apps, why not, but for websites (especially if they are “traditional content” website than can be pulled to Readability/Pocket/Instapaper) it’s mainly an overkill.

      I think this field is over-evangilized when you consider real world usage, but that’s another story…

  • I’ve already done some similar research with a focus on the difficulties people are experiencing.

    I’ve written up the survey results so far here:

    If your readers would also be able to spare a minute I’d be grateful if you could ask people to fill in



  • well

    At least you are calling it responsive and not ‘adaptive’ (sic:as I prefer to call it) as in your article in web designer mag.

    This site is’t responsive.

    I guess if it were important to you then this site would be.

  • Hi Sarah, have been talking to some professionals here in Manchester and thinking of hosting a session for agencies and freelancers to share their experiences, ‘how they are handling responsive’. There are plenty of technical issues and whole thing of actual ROI on such projects.

  • The real kick in the groin is implementing it on older sites. Brand new sites it’s pretty standard to implement and doesn’t really effect the development time too much.

  • Any results yet sazzy?

  • Since April ’12 I have gone from my first RWD to now (Sep ’12) thinking in a year or so it will need to be mandatory so it should be a part of every new site we do here. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to think again.

  • I’d be interested in filling in that survey but the link appears to be broken. Is it still around?