Responsive web design is an all-in-one solution approach to web design. Sites using responsive design have content that re-sizes and rearranges itself in order to be viewed on a variety of devices such as desktops, tablets and mobile phones. The idea of one site to serve them all has great appeal for both companies and web designers, but the execution of a responsive site on a mobile device still leaves much to be desired.
A responsive site has the exact same content as a full website because it is the full website presented in a mobile friendly manner. This is both a blessing and a curse. Having a wealth of content presented to you on mobile websites is great. However, while true mobile websites will present that content to you in an organized and mobile tailored manor, a responsive site will give you all of the content from the full site in a series of long unorganized scrolling pages.
Get to the point:
True mobile websites take into consideration what the on-the-go user wants to see on their mobile device and tailors the site content based on those preferences. Instead of 10 navigation buttons that may not all be pertinent to the mobile user, the true mobile site will present the 4 navigation options that the mobile user is looking for. If the true mobile site user wants to dive deeper into the content of the site a full site link is provided as well. Since a responsive designed mobile site has all of the navigation of the full site it can be tedious for the user to find exactly what they are looking for quickly.
Get in touch:
A responsive site uses the same site structure as a desktop site. This can hinder the users ability to contact you. You’ll need to find the contact or about us section of the site and then possibly even have to dig into those pages for the info you are looking for. A true mobile site will often have a fixed navigation bar at the top or bottom of the page that have quick call to action buttons. Options like email, click-to-call and contact form actions are always only one click away on a dedicated true mobile site.
Responsive design can still be a great way to communicate your message across various platforms, but keep in mind that your mobile audience demands more than just your full site stuffed into a mobile template.