Responsive Design = Wanker Design
Responsive design is the biggest scam to ever hit the internet since Nigerian scammers discovered how to send an email. It seems every blog you go to about design and or development has a whole bunch of on articles on responsive design, why it’s so good and how simple and amazing responsive design can be: responsive design is for wankers.
Okay, I digress for a moment: responsive design looks cool when done correctly, but it adds an extra level of unneeded complexity to even the simplest of websites unless you use some kind of framework that has done most of the hard work for you. But in all serious, who wants their precious deadline left in the hands of some kind of framework (CSS in this instance) forcing you how to structure your sites markup and what you can and can’t do?
If anyone ever tells you that building a responsive website is simple, punch them in the face about 5 times and then tell them: “That’s what it feels like to build a responsive website, still think it’s simple or should I punch you another 5 times?” responsive development is hard, especially hard when the designer recreates the interface for mobile devices to the point new menus are added in, it’s not impossible but it’s an unneeded complexity that has the potential to blow out deadlines for even a seasoned web developer.
Taking a desktop browser website and then scaling it down for mobile visitors is not responsive development, it’s stupid. Do you really think hiding all of those unneeded elements from your desktop version on a mobile phone screen makes a difference? No. Unless you build for mobile first and scale up (and seriously, who ever does that?) your mobile visitors are loading the same scripts, unneeded styles and other crap they don’t even get to see on their mobile devices. Do you know how expensive mobile data is in a country like Australia or the UK? Stop wasting my bandwidth you bandits.
Responsive design is the new Internet Explorer 6. If you want a site that works on an iPhone? Build a mobile site or better yet, build a friggen’ application. If you want a site that works on an iPad or other tablet device: build a tablet version of your website or build an application. There’s no need to go making a site work for desktop computers at anything under 1024 x 768, even the shittiest of computers these days at least support that resolution. So where does that leave responsive design?
At the end of the day, it’s a matter of preference and what your clients want. If your clients want a responsive site, give them a responsive site. If they want an app, give them an app and if they say nothing then build a site that is at least usable on a mobile or tablet, don’t go spending 3 hours shouting at your screen and debugging CSS only for no one to even notice the extra effort you spent on the site.