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An under noticed benefit of responsive web design
We’re big proponents of responsive design. And we’re not alone. Trends predict 2013 will be the year of responsive design. It’s easy to see why....with an explosion of different devices with various resolutions and sizes - creating mobile specific sites for each device variant is impractical. It’s much easier to create an adaptable site that “responds” to the size, resolution, and orientation of the device. It’s why every site we build now is built on top of a responsive web framework. Our preferred choice is Zurb’s Foundation Framework.
But a discussion around responsive frameworks is a future topic. This blog is focused on one, small under noticed benefit of responsive web design. Sharing links via social networks and email.
Mobile specific sites often “share” mobile specific links.
I’m fairly confident that you’ve either shared or received a link that when opened on a computer or tablet takes you to a layout targeted to mobile users. I find this frustrating and annoying. Especially when the mobile URL is completely different than the full site’s url. One culprit that uses mobile specific URLs is ABC News. They’ve improved their mobile site - but their URLs are still modified. This means when shared with a computer user - the link will render a mobile layout that looks bad on a larger screen. Maybe it’s just me, but this drives me crazy.
With responsive web design, a URL is the same URL.
Unlike mobile specific site design approaches, with responsive web design, the URL rarely or never changes. It’s the same URL just displaying an adapted layout. So when you share the URL the recipient will see the same page, the same information, adapted to their device - you’re not modifying the URL in any manner. So when shared, the URL will work the “same” for everyone. It’s a hidden, under-rated benefit of responsive design. One that I appreciate and promote when possible.
Dec 15, 2012
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