Not only are people behaving differently on mobiles than desktops, they’re also expecting different responses. eMarketer’s July 2012 Mobile Roundup notes that “the shift toward immediate ‘just in time’ information access means that marketers and content providers must meet demands for mobile-optimized content.” Responsive design has been the answer so far to multimodal users seeking immediately relevant, actionable, utilizable content.
It’s considered by many as a great achievement in website development but if you want my take, responsive design is most often the euphemism for stretching production so that, at best, the website won’t look broken or just ugly on smartphones and other devices. I’d argue that when you don’t develop specifically for mobile, that is, when you try to take web and artifact it into mobile rather than the other way around, you fail to fully leverage the platform. In short, you fail to win. I expect a lot of TL:DR at this point, but stick with me to follow the argument. Continue reading