Responsive websites are easy

Posted in: Archive

There is a list being kept of HE websites which are using responsive design techniques to change how their pages appear based on the size of the screen loading them.

I think that this is a waste of time.

Making websites reflow, and changing the design a bit (top nav becomes a dropdown etc.) based on screen size is easy. We could do this in a matter of hours for most of our website, but it wouldn't help with our key aspect: the content.

Quite apart from pages which are over-long or unmaintained being made available on mobile devices, where tolerance for long pages are lower and where the number of average pages viewed per visit is around half that of larger screens, we have the issue of handling content contextually.

There is a great example of what I mean in this writeup, which looks at the Starbucks website as an example. We use methods of breaking up content like those used by Starbucks, but how do we know whether we should be displaying a particular piece of content on a small screen or not? If a page is long by necessity then how do we chunk this so that it is more digestible on a small screen, whilst not incurring a large cost to manage that content?

Responsive websites are easy. Responsive content is hard.

Posted in: Archive