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I used to think that "mobile responsiveness" was the "Holy Grail" of smart website design. Now, I've come to the conclusion that most modern mobile devices are completely capable of displaying the full version of most websites.

Every time I use my iPhone to browse to Twitter or LinkedIn I'm taken away from the full site and to a silly "mobile" site that resembles the native app. If I wanted the native app. experience, I'd download and use it! Ever try approving a LinkedIn recommendation using your iPhone? Good luck!

Now think about most business websites...5 pages of text, images, and a touch of javascript... Does their "full site" have content that cannot be displayed properly on a mobile device? No. Is there a benefit to having a second, "mobile" website (one with much less love put into it)? I think not.

It seems to me that many people think that "mobile responsiveness" is such a great thing, but I'm not sure they've really considered whether it's even necessary. I'd bet that most designers who build WP sites on themes that tout "mobile responsiveness" (and have it enabled by default) haven't even considered whether their client needs the second version of their site. Even if they do, I think often times the "mobile" version ends up being an ugly, hardly-tested, bastardized version of the "full site". Just give us the real website, please!




I really like the Dolphin browser on Android, partly because it lets you switch between mobile and "desktop" modes (lies in the agent string). I don't find I have to use desktop mode that often, but its really handy when its there.


You get that option in the native browser, though perhaps it's less fiddly in this "Dolphin".


I have to disagree with this one. Just having a mobile stylesheet with a sane font size and clickable link sizes makes a huge difference on most websites. Take this site for example, reading it is quite difficult on a phone, I'm always finding myself panning/pinch/zooming in comment threads, and I constantly misclick links on the home page.


Don't confuse "mobile responsiveness" with people doing it wrong. Your website should never, under any circumstances try to look and feel like an app. All that does is set behavioural expectations in the user that will not and can not be met. It should look like your website, just with some presentation changes to make it easier to get to the content you want on a device with a smaller screen and touch based input.




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