Responsive design works best as a nip'n'tuck | Responsive Web Design

Responsive design works best as a nip'n'tuck

I had to leave a comment directly on the article. I thought that sharing their approach to Basecamp was awesome. As a product I know and love to use across multiple devices it’s great to know how they were solving problems.

What I did take a little exception to was when David stated…

“So the next time you’re marveling at a responsive design that’s able to make the best use of a 27″ iMac at full screen and a fit neatly on a 3.5″ iPhone as well, you might want to ask yourself why you’re trying to make one performer do so many tricks.”

We should be aiming for is an interface that allows us to accomplish out goals on a small viewport that extends to make the best use of a large screen to accomplish those same key tasks in a continuous improvement manner.

We should be looking to add value based on a range of different factors including the viewport size, pixel density, network speed, device features rather than focussing on mobile/tablets/desktops.

The approach the BBC have taken in serving core content from a mobile first approach and loading in supporting content under certain criteria is a a great example of this.

This is particularly true if your framework of choice doesn’t make it needlessly complicated to use separate templates for separate purposes. Rails 4.1 has a feature calledvariantsthat makes it trivial to share the controller and model logic of your application, but return different HTMLtemplates when the devices call for it. It’s this feature we’re using for the Basecamp mobile views (which in turn are embedded in our mobile apps) instead of the prevailing responsive paradigm.

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