Some clients think responsive Web design (RWD) is just another trend, while others focus on its ability to ensure that content looks good no matter what a display’s form factor—whether desktop, tablet, or smartphone. However, neither of these perspectives captures the true meaning and potential of RWD. And they also gloss over a lot of the challenges with RWD these days—challenges that require UX guidance:
- the inability to really tailor individual experiences
- the implementation conflicts that happen when you are rewriting an already existing app to be responsive
- the compromises that you have to make to cover desktop and mobile
I, like many others, do not believe that user experience and implementation should be entirely separate considerations. If you do not think about the implementation of a user experience, design becomes academic. While, in the consulting world, you need to know the academics of user experience, you can spend very little time on such intricacies if you expect to be effective.
When you are building Web applications, RWD is something that you should always think about. Why? For the simple reason that, if you do not think about how a person is going to interact with your application or content or about what messages you want to convey to clients and how, you are not really thinking about user experience. And not considering user experience is a huge missed opportunity.