May 14, 2014 | Dave Dechant

While reading this Responsive Web Design, Mobile Website or a Native Mobile App article yesterday, I ran across some points on responsive design which I thought needed clarification.

This is the passage that got me thinking:

“However, since a responsive website is effectively the same website with a shift in dimensions, it does sometime affect the user experience for mobile users in terms of page load times. Also, since navigating websites through mobile is different from desktop, you would always want visitors to see the key pages on your mobile site.

In fact, you might even want to completely remove certain pages for mobile visitors. With responsive websites, however, that is not possible. Also, if you already have an established and high traffic website, you might not want to tinker with its design immediately.”

Here’s the deal with responsive web design:

  • Responsive websites should generally show all pages that the desktop version shows. This is one of the reasons for designing/developing “mobile-first” in the initial building stages.
  • If for some reason a specific page should not be displayed on mobile, then pages can be removed from navigation based on screen resolution.
  • While it’s true that many responsive sites load slower on mobile devices, this is generally for a couple reasons:
    1. Mobile devices often are using a cellular service to access the web, which by default is generally slower than WiFi, which is what would generally be used when accessing the web from a desktop.
    2. If the website does have performance issues, this is likely due to poor design/development decisions, not simply because it’s a responsive website. This also brings back the argument to design/develop websites with a mobile-first attitude.

Note: With this said, his article is fairly well written and he makes good points. It’s just that a couple of points on responsive design are somewhat misinformed.

What do YOU think about removing pages from mobile navigation — or anything else responsive-related?



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