September 05, 2012 | Bruce Shields

What to Consider When Considering Responsive Design


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This post coincides with the release of a new ForeSee white paper, “Responsive Design: Optimizing the Customer Web Experience Across Devices.”  Download the free report here.

Should I, or shouldn’t I? That’s the big question when it comes to choosing whether to employ a responsive design on your site. The thought of using one set of code to deliver content to all of your users, as well as cutting costs by maintaining only one site is certainly alluring, but is it the right choice for your site? The list of things to consider in making that decision is a long one and includes technical and content considerations, as well as carefully considering what context your visitors are in when using your site.

From a technical perspective, there are a number of hurdles you will have to overcome. Carefully considering how each of them impacts your site visitors is crucial, including:

  • Cross-browser compatibility. Some browsers don’t support the media queries responsive designs are based on.
  • Dynamic images. Providing properly sized images for each type of device is a difficult, but critical part of responsive designs.

You also need to carefully consider your content.

  • Is the content on your mobile site different than your desktop site?
  • Is there unique functionality you need on one version of the site?

What your site visitors are doing when accessing your site also plays a part. Are they surfing scores on their desktop computer during their lunch break, checking bus schedules on their smartphones, or reading articles on their tablets? These goals are uniquely different and each may require a different site structure.

If you are navigating this dizzying array of considerations, we’ve written a white paper to help you understand what responsive design is, and give you an idea of the kind of things that require a lot of thought before making a decision. You can find it on our website.

The most important thing to remember, though, is the answers for many of these questions can be found by measuring your visitors’ experience and context with a scientifically proven methodology, then using solid data to drive your decision making.

Download the free ForeSee white paper, “Responsive Design: Optimizing the Customer Web Experience Across Devices” here

ForeSee Responsive Design White Paper

Categories: ForeSee Products

About the Author

ForeSee Blogger Bruce Shields

Bruce Shields is a Usability Manager at ForeSee. He holds a master’s degree in Human Computer Interaction from the University of Michigan, and has led an internal research task force focusing on responsive design. Prior to joining Foresee, Bruce was a career journalist and helped lead web and multimedia efforts for several publications.

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