A Response to Five Reasons Why Responsive Web Design is Not a Best Practice
article on "Five Reasons Why Responsive Web Design is Not a Best Practice" deserved some clarification… and correction. Here are the author's five "reasons", lets fact check them.
"One Web" May 'Fit' All, But Should It?
Fact Check: False
The author's main argument is that an m.site's content is pared down to mobile specificcontent – "A key reason that consumers have become dependent on mobile technology is that it provides them with a shortcut to instant information." He implies that responsive design does not allow you to hide information that appears on the desktop site, and thereby creates a non-optimized experience for the user. This is simply not true. Case in point, on responsive design sites we hide content, switch out images and adjust layouts for the mobile user experience all the time. By visuals alone, consumers have no idea if they are on an m.site or a responsive site.
RWD Increases Data Load Time
Fact Check: True But Irrelevant
This is a valid statement, with a caveat. We have done A/B testing with m.sites andresponsive sites to see just how detrimental this downside is. And it turns out, not so much. To the naked eye (aka a customer's eye), load time is not measurably different. If that is not enough – responsive's higher conversion rates found during A/B testing is clear evidence of consumer experience satisfaction.
RWD Ignores the Core Desires of
Fact Check: False
"Studies show that consumers are using their smartphones as a primary device versus aPC or laptop." The author goes on to say "Bombarding them with an overabundance of traditional web content is pointless." I couldn't agree more. Going back to "Reason 1", a well-done responsive site does not do this. Mobile-first responsive web design, a method of designing for mobile prior to any other screen, is proof of how conscious responsive web design specialists are of mobile.
RWD Takes Longer to Build and is More
Fact Check: Partly True
Of course it takes longer to build! You are designing and developing three screens atone time. So imagine how long it took you to build your desktop site, mobile site and tablet site. Combine that, and subtract 30%. You have all the account management, design, and development overlapping into one project and being reused, so it is going to save you significant time over separating them. If this still sounds overwhelming, 5th Finger offers a solution that allows you to be responsive in as little as seven weeks using your existing desktop site. No-rebuild of your current site required.
Responsive web design is not going to be more expensive than maintaining andhosting three different sites. In fact, responsive web design typically saves money because you're not paying separate mobile hosting and maintenance fees.
RWD Content Management is
Fact Check: True
It is true. The more data you have, the more cumbersome anything is to maintain.Adding .js tags and other parameters to your site code is indeed going to make a simple update to your site more complicated. But take a moment to look at it from a higher level – now you don't have to do one or two additional site updates. Because you are essentially updating three sites at once, in total, your site maintenance time is decreased.
Overall, this article failed to mention an important point about responsive web design.You are not replacing just your desktop site, you are replacing your m.site and possibly a t.site as well. Time and resource investments are indeed larger upfront than simply creating a standalone m.site on the side because a responsive site is essentially three sites in one build. The payoff comes in greater symmetry in your channel strategy, decreased maintenance fees, SEO investment and resources, user experience, and the remedy of social media link fails on mobile.
The reasons provided in "Five Reasons Why Responsive Web Design is Not a BestPractice" were skewed and deserved clarification. Responsive web design only makes sense if you have mobile traffic you need to reach, and for the hospitality industry we know that is most certainly the case.
Phone: 415 294 2053
About 5th Finger
5th Finger, a Merkle Company, is a leading mobile solutions company that moved its global headquarters from Sydney to San Francisco in 2007. With an expertise in the Retail and Healthcare industries, 5th Finger serves an elite group of blue-chip retailers and leading healthcare companies with its proprietary technologies such as 5th Finger Responsive, award-winning RedShop Mobile and 5th Finger Rx. The company's unique hybrid structure unites its agency experience with technical disciplines to deliver a full spectrum of results-driven mobile solutions. Visit www.5thfinger.com.