With careful planning and custom elements, some say that responsive website design could address many e-commerce design, content and work flow challenges posed by the plethora of mobile devices, tablets and desktops. Others question if the extra coding, planning, and additional factors are worth the upfront investment.
But Raul Justiniano, a web designer at Perry Ellis, knows first hand about the costs and benefits of applying this new concept to Internet retail. He’ll share insights next month at the 2013 Internet Retailer Web Design & Usability Conference workshop titled, “Responsive web design: One size fits all, but at what price?”
Since the use of responsive website design is still fairly low, documentation describing pitfalls and best practices are not prevalent, Justiniano’s IRWD 2013 session should be packed. In the meantime, a recent Mobile Commerce Daily article offers some pros and cons that are worth considering.
If you’re not sure what a “responsive website” looks like? Check out this Dec. 11, 2012 Mashable.com article:
“In simple terms, a responsive web design uses “media queries” to figure out what resolution of device it’s being served on. Flexible images and fluid grids then size correctly to fit the screen. If you’re viewing this article on a desktop browser, for example, try making your browser window smaller. The images and content column will shrink, then the sidebar will disappear altogether. On our homepage, you’ll see the layout shrink from three columns, to two columns, to a singular column of content.
In the case of Mashable, we also detect the type of device and change the site’s behavior accordingly. On touch devices, for instance, we enable swiping between columns. (Technically, detecting device functionalities may be referred to as “adaptive design,” rather than “responsive,” but increasingly both approaches are used in tandem.)
The benefits are obvious: You build a website once, and it works seamlessly across thousands of different screens.”