I haven’t decided if I’m going to write more on the pitfalls of responsive design syndrome as I call it, but this comment on a post, Clown Car Technique: Solving Adaptive Images In Responsive Web Design, at Smashing Magazine sure sums my sentiment at present:
The whole responsive design movement has been about designers/developers wanting to show off, making sites that adapt to every size imaginable – and fluidly in real-time. The KISS prinicple seems to have been long forgotten in the rush to build all websites fluidly, on-the-fly responsive.
But this has led to over-complicated solutions for problems that don’t exist. And a higher cost for web development.
We need to stop trying to impress users. They don’t even notice half the cool stuf we do.
We have made responsive design a rod for our own back by setting its ideals unrealistically high.
We need to get back to the K.I.S.S principle.
Everything with this comment is right. The title of the article is hilarious, in that it both mocks (unintentionally?) the current state of hysteria over image downloading, while aptly naming a solution after the circus-like approach that has to be used, at this point. Maybe these issues will get ironed out, but that is beside the point. The point is that most sites don’t need to be responsive. Everyone with a cell phone three of four years old can already see and navigate any website in it’s desktop layout! Nobody was complaining. Pinch and zoom on a touch device already works perfectly. Responsive design flattens out rich desktop design to a linear scroll experience. Yuck, on the whole. Do desktop designs really translate effectively into linear stories? I really don’t think so, in general. Some do, but on the whole, most do not and never will.
While responsive design is a great solution in some cases, for some sites, of a certain content, of a certain demographic, it’s largely a solution in search of a problem. When the fad cools off, people will still opt for a desktop design by default, a distinct mobile site too perhaps, and responsive design will correctly occupy the specialized niches of websites for which it is supremely suited. Let’s give it a couple years 🙂
Please read the whole article: Clown Car Technique: Solving Adaptive Images In Responsive Web Design