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Posted on: Oct 25, 2011

Author: Robert Tobys

Elaine Simpson wrote a great article titled, "How to Design a Mobile Responsive Website" over at UX Booth. In general I would agree with most of what she says with a few exceptions or added commentary.

I would agree that overall cost are lower when compared to building two versions of a website; one mobile and one desktop. However, the time required to build out a Responsive Website is greater and thus the cost is higher than building a desktop only site. Clients need to realize this when they ask for a Responsive Website!

With that said, the overall cost savings in long term resources is substantial and should not be over looked. If, which is most likely the case, the site is build within a CMS, the time requirement to manage content is reduced significantly.

On another point, I would recommend starting both the wireframe and development process mobile first. It's much easier to start with the content and navigation at the mobile level before moving on to tablets and desktop viewports.

During the wireframing and design, As @brad_frost pointed out in the comments, it's important to understand that the user is using their finger to navigate and should be taken into consideration. Creating larger navigation elements is important. My recommendation? Test, test, test.

Finally, understanding image resizing and how it applies to your site is important. The Filament Group wrote a great article on Responsive Images: Experimenting with Context-Aware Image Sizing that is worth reading. As of yet I have not personally implemented their technique, but plan to keep it in my toolbox for future use.

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