22 Replies Latest reply on Apr 16, 2013 8:57 AM by Jon Fritz II

    Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)

    VL Branko Level 2

      I was contemplating having a responsive design for my website. I didn't really see a need for one because when I looked at it in a smart phone (Samsung Galaxy Grand) the desktop version was perfectly usable.

       

      The following article from CSS Tricks looks at Responsive Design from another angle, that it is not necesary. Any commnets from our experts?

       

      Opt-Out Responsive Design?

       

       

      Excerpt:

      I  have a feeling that “responsive design” is going to soon replace  “table-based layout” in all your favorite “remember-when” web design  one-liners.  And we will all blush when people track down our old  designs where everything smooshed into a skinny, giant’s beanstalk of  endless swipe scrolling.

       

      We keep  hearing about the exciting evolution of “responsive design.” But to me  it’s got nothing on the exciting evolution of mobile browsers.  (Which,  incidentally, are already really, really good at rendering old desktop  era sites.  And will soon, presumably, give us native capabilities to  manage asset loading relative to bandwidth.)

        • 1. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
          Ben M Adobe Community Professional

          I don't think all websites need responsive templates.  Especially a lot of the common Wordpress, or basic Bootstrap or other templates.  Usability is the key and if that's fine there's no need for it.  I don't think mobile browsers are as exciting as that article suggests.  In fact, the more browsers change, the more they remain the same as divided which makes programming websites an ongoing guessing game and never-ending testing process to satisfy the browsers as opposed to the devices.  Take a look at Chrome leaving the webkit project to make it's own "Blink" engine.  So being mobile friendly will soon have new meaning.

          • 2. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
            BenPleysier Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Have a look at these two sites in portrait view on a mobile

             

            https://www.webassist.com/index.php?accesscheck=/index.php

            http://www.projectseven.com/

             

            and I will say no more.

            • 3. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
              Nancy OShea Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Are we reading the same article? 

               

              In your link, Chris Coyier said:

                   "Why don't we see opt-out responsive design? My guess is two-fold:

                1. It's a bit technically challenging to implement and there aren't a lot of precedents.
                2. It's admitting you didn't do a very good job on the responsive design.

              The latter likely being the bigger factor. Like: why are we creating this responsive design at all if we aren't sure it's a better experience?"

               

               

              Nancy O.

              • 4. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                VL Branko Level 2

                I only looked at the P 7 site because it was easier to type in the URL. It is an extremely welcrafted site indeed. Designed from the ground up with this in mind.

                 

                But when you said look at them in "portrait view" it occured to me to look at some sites in "landscape view." My Samsung Galaxy Grand display is 480 X 800 in portrait view, but in landscape view it is 800 X 480 a completely different experience. And, 800 was the old standard for desktop sites.

                 

                Viewing a site in landscape view is a no brainer. Look at a few desktop sites in "landscape view;" is the notion of responsive design still compelling?

                • 5. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                  VL Branko Level 2

                  Nancy O. wrote:

                   

                  Are we reading the same article? 

                   

                  In your link, Chris Coyier said:

                       "Why don't we see opt-out responsive design? My guess is two-fold:

                    1. It's a bit technically challenging to implement and there aren't a lot of precedents.
                    2. It's admitting you didn't do a very good job on the responsive design.

                  The latter likely being the bigger factor. Like: why are we creating this responsive design at all if we aren't sure it's a better experience?"

                   

                   

                  Nancy O.

                  I'm not sure what you mean by "reading the same article". That excerpt was from one of the many thought provoking comments that the article engendered.

                  • 6. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                    osgood_ Level 8

                    Ben Pleysier wrote:

                     

                    https://www.webassist.com/index.php?accesscheck=/index.php

                     

                    Is that a responsive site or is it just sniffing for mobiles/tablets then presenting a different site?

                    • 7. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                      David_Powers Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                      WebAssist isn't a responsive site. It just displays the desktop version (at least on my iPhone 5). The Project Seven site is responsive.

                      • 8. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                        BenPleysier Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        The idea was to show two modern sites, the new WebAssist site went live only one week ago.

                         

                        Despite having been with WebAssist for many years, I am bitterly disappointed in their lack of foresight.

                         

                        The other site, ProjectSeven, has given me less enthousiasm in the past, but has recently captured my admiration for their advanced technologies as reflected in their RWD web site.

                         

                        I believe that 2013 is the year of RWD and SVG. Think Retina, handheld devices, Apple-TV, Kaiser Baas and others, all capable of showing your website in all shapes and sizes.

                         

                        Make sure you do not get left behind.

                        • 9. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                          osgood_ Level 8

                          David_Powers wrote:

                           

                          WebAssist isn't a responsive site. It just displays the desktop version (at least on my iPhone 5).

                           

                          Hi David,

                           

                          That's what I thought. I was looking at the code to see if I could see anything which was sending the user to another url based on viewport. However if it was using some kind of server language to do that I'd be none the wiser.

                           

                          I'm undecided as to whether to pursue responsive design or use my time where I feel it might be best allocated. My clients have never said they can't view the sites I build on their mobile devices, so I'm not sure if putting more effort into using media queries is necessary. I really don't know at this stage.

                          • 10. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                            osgood_ Level 8

                            Ben Pleysier wrote:

                             

                             

                            I believe that 2013 is the year of RWD and SVG. Think Retina, handheld devices, Apple-TV, Kaiser Baas and others, all capable of showing your website in all shapes and sizes.

                             

                            Make sure you do not get left behind.

                             

                            I hear what youre saying Ben but Webassists site is still useable on mobile devices right? If it's useable is there a problem or not?

                            • 11. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                              VL Branko Level 2

                              It is useable especially if you view sites in "landscape" view, you get a lot of extra pixels.

                              • 12. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                                osgood_ Level 8

                                VL Branko wrote:

                                 

                                It is useable especially if you view sites in "landscape" view, you get a lot of extra pixels.

                                 

                                OK thanks for the clarification - so where is the problem apart from people might not be willing to twist their mobile devices through 90 degress to get a better experience whereas responsive designs 'snap' to the view port.

                                 

                                The problem as I see it may be the extended time it takes to make a large site responsive and the cost associated with that for small clients. Ok no problem if you have only a few pages. But if you have more than a few and 4 or 5 different layout grids for the site pages then it could become rather time consuming.

                                • 13. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                                  VL Branko Level 2

                                  osgood_ wrote:

                                   

                                  VL Branko wrote:

                                   

                                  It is useable especially if you view sites in "landscape" view, you get a lot of extra pixels.

                                   

                                  OK thanks for the clarification - so where is the problem apart from people might not be willing to twist their mobile devices through 90 degress to get a better experience whereas responsive designs 'snap' to the view port.

                                   

                                  The problem as I see it may be the extended time it takes to make a large site responsive and the cost associated with that for small clients. Ok no problem if you have only a few pages. But if you have more than a few and 4 or 5 different layout grids for the site pages then it could become rather time consuming.

                                  How difficult would it be to educate people that for minimum effort (turning device 90 deg) and no cost they get a significant improvement in UX? People are always looking for ways to improve their net-surfing. Just spread the word.

                                   

                                  As for making responsive sites, what would you do in the case of an already existing site with lots of pages? Would you have to do the site all over? What would be the strategy in that case? It would seem as you say to be very time consuming and proportionally expensive.

                                  • 14. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                                    ALsp Level 4

                                    If you turn a smartphone sideways, there is hardly any room to display

                                    content This is why what seems perfectly logical to you is actually

                                    quite illogical. People browsing on phones tend to be in portrait mode

                                    unless they are viewing a video. People browsing on tablets more often

                                    tend to be using landscape mode as they can actually see quite a bit of

                                    page content.

                                     

                                    Responsive design is often intimidating, but that is more to do with bad

                                    articles and methods (starting with the original article and the fellow

                                    who coined the term, actually). Responsive design, in practice, is

                                    ridiculously simple if done from scratch and agonizingly inscrutable if

                                    you use open source frameworks or Adobe's fluid grid atrocity.

                                     

                                    --

                                    Al Sparber - PVII

                                    http://www.projectseven.com

                                    The Finest Dreamweaver Menus | Galleries | Widgets

                                    Since 1998

                                    • 15. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                                      osgood_ Level 8

                                      VL Branko wrote:

                                       

                                      As for making responsive sites, what would you do in the case of an already existing site with lots of pages?

                                       

                                      Hummm......at this moment and based on Al's response, I'd throw up a couple of pages sepecifically aimed at  smart phones if it was a necessary requirement. Seems as though tablets do a good enough job.

                                       

                                      Listen don't take too much advice from me in regards to responsive design, I've only dabbled in media queries at the moment. It's not dificult. What is difficult is when the layout becomes complex from page to page because you need to write more media requirements. If you have a site based on a template design and it doesn't vary much then it's obviously less complex. I rarely come across that situation though unless I specifically set out to make it a requirement which somewhat compromises the design if I have that in mind.

                                       

                                      Do I use my phone to view the web, hardly ever but thats because of my age. I guess you would need to take age and subject into consideration as well as to whether you need to support responsive.

                                      • 16. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                                        David_Powers Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                        osgood_ wrote:

                                         

                                        Do I use my phone to view the web, hardly ever but thats because of my age.

                                        I don't think age has much to do with it. I'm not exactly a spring chicken, but when I'm away from home, I use my phone all the time for looking things up. In fact, I recently find myself using it at home if I don't want to go into another room to grab a laptop or tablet.

                                        • 17. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                                          VL Branko Level 2

                                          Al Sparber wrote:

                                           

                                          If you turn a smartphone sideways, there is hardly any room to display

                                          content This is why what seems perfectly logical to you is actually

                                          quite illogical. People browsing on phones tend to be in portrait mode

                                          unless they are viewing a video. People browsing on tablets more often

                                          tend to be using landscape mode as they can actually see quite a bit of

                                          page content.

                                           

                                           

                                          My phone displays lots of content in landscape mode, but I suppose it would be a matter of taste - de gustibus non est disputandum

                                           

                                           

                                          Al Sparber wrote:

                                           

                                           

                                          Responsive design is often intimidating, but that is more to do with bad

                                          articles and methods (starting with the original article and the fellow

                                          who coined the term, actually). Responsive design, in practice, is

                                          ridiculously simple if done from scratch and agonizingly inscrutable if

                                          you use open source frameworks

                                           

                                           

                                          Well you have certainly demonstrated on your beautiful site that it can be done very nicely. But what about an already existing site with lots of pages based off a template? How would one go about doing that?

                                           

                                           

                                          Al Sparber wrote:

                                           

                                          or Adobe's fluid grid atrocity.

                                           

                                           

                                          When I just visted Adobe's site the difference between what I see on my desktop and my phone is negligible in fact at first I thought it was the desktop version I was viewing in my phone but on closer inspection I saw a few differences but certainly it is not an example of RWD. So I guess they are not "eating their own cooking" as Warren Buffet would say.

                                          • 18. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                                            VL Branko Level 2

                                            osgood_ wrote:

                                             

                                             

                                            Listen don't take too much advice from me in regards to responsive design,

                                             

                                            I bow to my seniors, on this forum almost everyone knows more than I do.

                                             

                                             

                                            osgood_ wrote:

                                             

                                            VL Branko wrote:

                                             

                                            As for making responsive sites, what would you do in the case of an already existing site with lots of pages?

                                             

                                            What is difficult is when the layout becomes complex from page to page because you need to write more media requirements. If you have a site based on a template design and it doesn't vary much then it's obviously less complex. I rarely come across that situation though unless I specifically set out to make it a requirement which somewhat compromises the design if I have that in mind.

                                             

                                             

                                            Mine is based on a template, I am just putting the finishing touches to it then will aply the new Dreamweaver template to all the page of my old GoLive site.

                                            • 19. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                                              VL Branko Level 2

                                              David_Powers wrote:

                                               

                                              osgood_ wrote:

                                               

                                              Do I use my phone to view the web, hardly ever but thats because of my age.

                                              I don't think age has much to do with it. I'm not exactly a spring chicken, but when I'm away from home, I use my phone all the time for looking things up. In fact, I recently find myself using it at home if I don't want to go into another room to grab a laptop or tablet.

                                              I agree with Dave, untill I got a decent smart phone I didn't use phones for surfing, now I do but it is not my tool of choice for anything really serious. I would hate to have to do JSTOR searches using a phone. And where would I save the files? I have thousands of articles downloaded from JSTOR.

                                              • 20. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                                                ALsp Level 4

                                                It depends on the page and the "template". Like I wrote earlier, a lot

                                                of folks have been lured into bad techniques so sometimes, if you cannot

                                                easily make your site responsive, it could be a signal that the approach

                                                was bad to begin with and this might be a good time for a redesign.

                                                 

                                                --

                                                Al Sparber - PVII

                                                http://www.projectseven.com

                                                The Finest Dreamweaver Menus | Galleries | Widgets

                                                Since 1998

                                                • 21. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                                                  VL Branko Level 2

                                                  Here is different take on it by Jakob Nielson

                                                   

                                                  Mobile Site vs. Full Site

                                                  Summary: Good mobile user experience requires a different design than what's needed to satisfy desktop users. Two designs, two sites, and cross-linking to make it all work.

                                                   

                                                  http://www.nngroup.com/articles/mobile-site-vs-full-site/

                                                  • 22. Re: Opt-Out Responsive Design? (Fluid grid layout un-necessary)
                                                    Jon Fritz II Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                    I absolutely despise the "two separate URLs for one site" method in most cases. The designers who use that method almost always forget, or intentionally leave out, a way for the mobile browser to view the entire site which leaves you in some half complete, poorly designed mess with little of the full site's content.

                                                     

                                                    If you're going to do two separate sites and use some kind of sniffer to force visitors to a mobile version/URL, for the love of all that is holy give us a link to see the full site if we want to visit it instead, especially if you don't plan to put the ALL of the same content on both.