Five Major Drawbacks Of Responsive Web Design

It’s the era of technology and we are just a hop away from going into ballistic madness over everything device related. Close to 60% of users access the web via their mobile phone data, this is discounting the rest who are connected via a tablet, desktop or other devices. Organizations are now realizing the urgent need to build an audience and make their online existence felt across various platforms. So there we are trying to make an impression on the prospect with the requisite tools at hand, using responsive web design. However, you will also come across a number of drawbacks of responsive web design as well.

How good is your reach in the search engine? That should be your question. Primarily, your search rank is based on certain elements such as page titles, keywords, page speed etc. Even as search engine spiders get increasingly sophisticated, there are still key elements of web design that spiders can’t detect. That is why it is so very vital to implement the perfect search engine web design for your organization. A responsive site is the one that gets you a better response from search engines and helps you build your business.

Also Read: The Essentials For Cross-Cultural Web Design

The drawbacks of responsive web design

1. Prolonged loading time

The most important aspect of user experience is the loading time and is one of the biggest drawbacks of responsive web design. The time your website takes to load is actually connected to the demand made on the server to load your website, probably due to needlessly complex HTML/CSS code downloads. If your website is taking its own sweet time downloading on smart phones and tablets, you can be sure that you are losing visitors and potential prospects. An average smart phone user gets bored in 4 seconds flat. Google considers page speed as a major factor that determines search engine ranking.

2. Demands of the user experience

Sometimes responsive web design just does not deliver or live up to user expectations, at least not in every case. One of the drawbacks of responsive web design for sure! Take for example the use of some popular blogs or apps. While they may have a certain layout on a desktop, on an Android mobile the side bar and navigation menu gets shuffled and juxtaposed with you don’t know what, leaving the user disgruntled. This certainly is not a good deal for the one who wants his experience on your site to be browser friendly. The only thing your target audience wants is a uniform experience across every platform and device.

Major Drawbacks Of Reponsive Web Design

3. Scaling down

Sometimes the web components may be scaled down to accommodate responsive web design for your site, this can cause some pages to be inaccessible to the user.

4. Lengthy cycle of development and implementation

Creating a website through this interface takes considerably longer than building a regular website. If your website is already working with a normal website approach, upgrading it with responsive web design to optimize for mobile devices makes it even more complex.  One must also take into consideration that content in responsive web design is important. Websites must ensure that important content does not go missing while switching from a mobile, to a desktop or any other devices. The cycle of development is one of the major drawbacks of responsive web design indeed

5. It is expensive

The planning and implementing of a responsive web design is not the same thing. There are budgets and expenses to be considered. There are no free lunches in the world and the same goes for your web site. The exact cost is always hard to pin point, since each organization has its own criteria. But a responsive web design almost always costs a pretty penny. Surely counts among the drawbacks of responsive web design.

It is very clear with the above that the actualization and implementation of responsive web design takes a longer time than is speculated. We are still on unfamiliar ground and this is a fairly new concept; with some unknown problems that we must learn to fix as we go along.

As we wrap up this debate, we may draw certain conclusions, while responsive web design has its advantages, the drawbacks of responsive web design are yet to be solved.


One thought on “Five Major Drawbacks Of Responsive Web Design

  1. Reblogged this on <w3dzgnr/> and commented:
    This blog post from designs codes offers some good info on the drawbacks of responsive design, however, I don’t totally agree with points 2, 4 and 5.

    With #2, while I agree that the user experience does suffer considerably when comparing between the various devices, I don’t think that in MOST cases the user IS comparing. Some notable exceptions would be maybe banking or media sites that they might access from different devices. I think most users EXPECT the differences in UI and gravitate towards the one the suits them best or is most convienient. In that respect this is why mobile phones are taking such a lead as the device of choice.

    On #4 and #5, I don’t think either of these have to be, or will always be, the case. As designers and developers come to grips with the process I think it will be just as easy and cost-effective to develop a responsive site from the beginning. Right now we see a lot of legacy sites being converted and, yes, that is costly and time consuming.

    Still, this is worth the read and consideration!


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