Importance of having a responsive web layout?

I'm making a personal website for my portfolio (some web stuff, interaction design, also drawings and prints). Its purpose would mostly be for employers. I'm trying to decide how important it is for my website to be responsive (essentially meaning adapting it to also fit mobile). Is it really going to make that much of a difference that people can view my website on their smartphone? I mean, when I'm on the subway, in a car, etc, it's not really the context in which I'd be looking at designers' websites. Should I jut implement it for the sake of showing off my ability to do so? The problem is that it really limits the type of media I can use, and the flexibility of how *I* want the user to see it, rather than the *user* seeing it exactly how they want. I don't want to compromise the aesthetic/intended experience for features that might not even be needed.

So my question again is - Is responsive web design absolutely necessary for a personal website with semi-web-related content? I don't want to seem like I'm jumping onto the HTML5 / CSS3 bandwagon, throwing every possible feature into the mix without really considering the contexts, but I also want employers to know that I can do these things. What's your say, those with similar experiences?

2 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have run extensive studies on this as I design web content. I have found that around 35% of people browse the internet on a mobile device for more than half the time they're online. If you would like to remove ~17-20% of your audience then that is your choice, but it is zero extra work to build your site based on a fluid grid and RWD. It's a no-brainer in fact, you simply continue to build your website as per normal and at the end of it you will have both a desktop version and a mobile site all in one.

    The main mistake people make when considering RWD is the individual elements, but to get a good idea have a look at other's responsive designs. Examples might be a menu along the top becomes a drop-down (taking up the space of only one item) on a mobile device. This is all handled by the CSS, so it's very very simple to achieve.

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  • 5 years ago

    Hello, my name is Danny and i run a business called Webbro Web Designs, I am a freelance website designer from Surrey. I specialise in responsive CMS driven website design & development. The first answer shown on here provides a nice take on your question and he is absolutely right saying that around 35% of people browse the internet via mobile devices and this even increases at certain parts of the day.

    After reading your question though, I thought i could add some value. I understand what you are saying and i have to say that responsive website design has many benefits, increasing SEO rankings and be able to connect with an ever growing audience however, there are some cases when it is not really needed.

    In your CSS code you can add a min-width rule which will stop your container from collapsing below a certain width, this may be suitable for you as then none of the content on your website will get scaled and it will still be viewable enough on a external device with some zooming etc with your fingers, but still looking good.

    It does take extra work to build a responsive website as you need to put i extra hours to code the css should change and adapt to the screen size, i usually find it takes around and extra day at the end of your project to make it responsive using a CSS framework like skeleton.css or bootstrap.

    As you are not using your website for marketing and rely on SEO rankings inside search engines and only presenting this website to employers, I personally think you could get away with not having a responsive design, I would also say that by choosing one or the other, its not really going to effect your success in life unless you need your website to act as a salesman rather than a reference.

    On the other hand it does only take around an extra 8 hours to do it all and is modern professional. I hope I have helped you in some way. Good luck

    • Danny5 years agoReport

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