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Responsive Design is Failing Mobile UX

And it makes sense: Your viewers don’t need all the functionality of a desktop on a mobile device. In fact, they may want to remove some content and functionality when they’re on a smaller screen. After all, nobody wants to sort through pages of content just to find your company’s phone number. That’s the missing building block in a lot of companies’ web design foundations: true adaptivity.

Simply jamming your site into a version that fits on a mobile device is not enough. You need to take a close look at the complete user experience and how it should be changed to adapt to the different environments in which it’s being viewed.

THE PROBLEM WITH RESPONSIVE DESIGN

57% of mobile device users won’t recommend businesses with poor mobile site designs, and 48% say that businesses with mobile sites that don’t function properly have the appearance of not caring.

There are several problem areas that most companies run into with their responsive websites:

IMAGE PLACEMENT

Past design processes have dictated that the client approves static images and screenshots before the development phase. Today, design is more focused on the rearrangement of elements for different device dimensions and much less focused on the placement of static images.

SCREEN SQUEEZE

Showcasing data on a small screen often makes it difficult to see or read content, especially tables of information. The W3C actually encourages brands to choose a method other than tables and tabs to present data; complicated user interfaces simply contain too much information for mobile devices to handle.

PERSPECTIVE SHIFT

Above all, the problem with responsive design is simply a matter of the customers’ perspectives vs. the companies’ perspectives. Unfortunately, most businesses tend to ask themselves what they want to tell their customers rather than how their customers want to view and interact with that information.

For example, while registration workflows are generally the most important aspect of web design, they’re often a low priority. That’s because businesses think more about the functionality they want customers to see than the logical point of entry and primary workflow the customers are looking for.

Simply put, responsive design isn’t the ultimate solution for giving users what they need from a website; it still leaves much to be desired.

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The WebRecital is a dedicated User Interface/User Experience professionals who come together to provide design and research workshops, portfolio reviews, and educational outreach to the greater Seattle area.
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