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10 misconceptions about responsive design

Published on October 22, 2014, by in Graphics.

Whenever a new and better way of doing things is discovered, a lot of myths are generated. The market gets flooded with misconceptions about the technique and the common man becomes hesitant about adopting the product or technique for his own use. Responsive web design is one such power-packed technique that has a lot to offer, but comes with its own bag of stories that are not true. In this post, we debunk 10 popular myths about responsive web design that is in-demand and slowly catching up in the web design circuit.

Myth #1: Responsive Web Design (RWD) is focused on mobile users

RWD is an all encompassing technique that tries to accommodate all internet-enabled devices. The sudden explosion of web-enabled mobile devices has made designers look into the aspects of how a page will look on the mobile, the tablet, and all other devices. But what matters most is how the web page delivers content to the user, depending on how the user is accessing the website.

Myth #2: Responsive design is not possible in each & every case

False. Responsive web design, by definition and nature, is a technique that takes into account the usage preferences of each and every device and platform. The website works for everyone, anywhere, and on all internet-enabled devices.

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What is responsive design. Source: Uberflip

Myth #3: Device breakpoints are important in responsive design

A lot of developers today design resolutions to fit those of a particular device, say, an iPhone or Galaxy Note. This is wrong. Where RWD has been used to design websites, the content should be accessible on all devices, irrespective of their brand or operating system.

Myth #4: Typography gets damaged in responsive design

Developers fall in love with a particular design and then tend to apply it everywhere, as they think more about the device than the design. A developer must pay great attention to how font sizes, margins and layouts fit in with different devices.

Myth #5: Content takes a backseat in responsive design

This is probably the most absurd myth of all. Accessibility is the key in responsive web design. Content is organised in such a way that it does not appear to clutter the page and makes for easy-readability on any device.

Myth #6: RWD slows down user experience due to heavy page loads

This is very thin ice. Is slower page loads the fault of the technique, or is it simply a case of bad programming? While both sides blame each other, it is safe to say that it is wise to ensure that the developer has performance considerations listed in their list of requirements while building a website.

Myth #7: A responsive approach requires a lot of time

Wrong! While it’s true that customising the website for accommodating various devices is going to require more coding, it is important to remember that RWD makes it possible to penetrate a more diverse and wider target audience.

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How to design responsive websites. Source: Michael Chaize

Myth #8: It is more expensive to develop a website with responsive design

Adapting to a new technique always requires an investment of time and money on the part of the developer. Having said that, once a web design company is geared towards responsive design, returns begin to show in the form of a larger target audience and a streamlined work pipeline.

Myth #9: Responsive design sacrifices performance

A number of websites today refuse to cater to the needs of users with low bandwidth. But holding your breath for any one solution that is standard across all platforms is not making your current website any easier to use on devices with limited bandwidth. Thus, responsive design is hardly responsible for the problem faced by the user.

Myth #10: Similarity across platforms

A common myth which cannot be more farther from the truth, as responsive design methodology demands that the webpage be tested across a number of devices before launch. That test defines the best suited layout as per the device.

If you have been avoiding responsive design because of some or all of these above myths, then it is time to reconsider. Responsive design is the future of optimum utilization of resources and the best way to reach your target audience on all platforms.

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