Responsive vs. Design

As a developer, when I think of responsive design, I get a little (geekily) excited: I love coding, I love building, I love finding a way to make things work. Surely this is why I do what I do.

However, when I think of responsive design on “the grand scale”, I picture (many, but not all) designers cringing… I reflect back to conversations I’ve had, repeatedly reminding that “pixels no longer exist, it’s all about relativity, percentages of screen-estate”.

And tonight, I had a thought… And yes, I’ve been “sipping”… :-)

I think many designers look at responsive design, much the same way they looked at fluid/flexible design when those terms were first coined, as too difficult, because “it changes”… You can’t simply say “I want this there, and I want to this tall, and this wide, always.”

And such is the “new web”: shit changes.

But (he says, leaning in), the other viewpoint is this: here is the opportunity to redesign web design… It’s destined to happen anyhow, as “kids” get sick of their parent’s Internet once again, as executives decide to make the web “fresh” and “new.”

So, here is your chance designers, the chance to redesign our web experience: from design to interaction, across devices, not just a single, static appearance everywhere, but a mutating layout, based on the device the user is using, a chance to design for multiple experiences, for multiple users, across multiple screens. Think of all the billable hours! (Kidding, sort of.)

But that’s the point I want to make: responsive design does mean new stuff, but it’s exciting, and that’s how you have to face it. When the world suddenly became round, surely there were masses that hated it because it meant shit changed. And just as surely there were others that saw it as an opportunity to reach, stretch, and discover new things. To evolve.

So, who’s in?

Happy designing,

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