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What are the advantages of Responsive Design?

Forums: Questions and Answers About Building Your Site
Created on: 05/09/17 08:48 PM Views: 1253 Replies: 10
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 8:48 PM

Hi
I'm trying to figure out what the pros and cons are of switching to responsive design. If I switch and do not like it can I switch back without losing all my previous work? Also, does all of my page editing automatically transfer over?
I don't want to lose any work!
Thanks!
Paula

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 9:01 PM - Response #1

I initially started our site with the standard design. After watching the CC videos about the responsive design, I switched. No data was lost. The primary advantage of the responsive design is readability on most devices, PC, laptop, tablet and smart phone. The website information
is displayed in a consistent manner across all devices. The only semi-negative feedback from users has been about the navigation on smart phones. After using the application a few times, they now like it. It works great, give it a try.

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Edited 05/09/17 10:00 PM
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 10:20 PM - Response #2

To me, the main con of Responsive Design is the width of a line of text on the page. Compared with the standard design, on the home page the width is only 5% longer, because the links on the left and right side of the pages limit the length of the line. On other pages, the text is almost 40% longer. I find this difficult to read.

Not to be critical, but here's a comparison to consider:

Compare the width of a line of text on the History of ELHS page on our site, http://www.eastlongmeadowhighschool1970.com/History-of-ELHS.htm, which I find about as long as I can stand, with the width of a line of text on The Class of 1963 Box Elder High School's First Time Visitor/Start Here page: http://www.boxelder63.com/class_custom.cfm?page_id=781568. My eyes become fatigued when reading a text line this wide.

We have a lot of text on our site, so I've chosen to stay with the standard design for now.

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Edited 05/09/17 11:42 PM
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 1:05 AM - Response #3

There are two other considerations that are not obvious.

First, PC users with large screens get the effect described by Scott. A 1920 wide screen is now common and I almost had one that was 2500 or so. On those screen the RD width is just way too wide. How many commercial sites have text that span that wide?

Summary, smaller screens good, very large screens bad.

Second issue is that the editor is not really set up for RD design. So you get stuck with limited width objects which look out of place floating on a large screen. Also almost all "widgets" suffer from a fixed size.

So for very simple designs with straight forward text and a few images, only the wide text is an issue.

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Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 1:59 AM - Response #4
RD Icons.jpg

Hi, Paula.

I prefer the Responsive Design (RD). I changed to RD on four sites. On the four, I kept the left and upper menus. I am working on another site that may not have the left menu. When the left menu is not used, that gives it a feeling of 'too much white space' to me. Perhaps that will change when I get more content on the site.

A big plus that is important to me as an admin are the icons at the top right of the site. I cannot express how I disliked scrolling down to find Admin Functions in the left menu as I have (had) long left menus on the site. It is a breeze in RD to access the functions I need. Screenshot attached - look at the top of this message for it. The gears are where our admin tools are in RD. This may be the one thing I like most!

This is my 2-cents.


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Edited 05/11/17 2:00 AM
Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 7:53 AM - Response #5

similarly, I am just now starting to research responsive design and the FB connection. We have used our CC site since 2010. As we gear up for our next reunion in 2018, I wanted to refresh our site and consider using these modern features. But I don't want to spend tons of hours editing and fielding questions. I am concerned with 1) can we revert without losing what we have if we find we don't like it? 2) does this generate a lot of questions/complaints that take a lot of admin time to handle? 3) Are there some browsers or specific device OS's that work ok with the old format but may have issues with RD or the FB connection? How stable and solid are the RD and FB connection features now (December 2017)? Thanks very much. Cool

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Friday, December 22, 2017 at 3:10 PM - Response #6

The Responsive design is worth getting to know. It is very flexible and highly customizable. It will automatically "respond" and change the layout when viewed on a desktop or laptop vs a tablet vs a mobile phone. As for the FB Connection, to be honest, I would not use it. Unfortunately, after we launched it, Facebook made changes that virtually killed all the benefits of the app. We have frequent user issues with it and most sites are not using the app at this point. Is it usable? Yes. What does it do? It is basically a portal between FB and your site that allows a user within FB to access the information in your site. The look and feel of the app are different that your site, but the content is the same. You cannot share information between the app and your site and vice-versa.


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Friday, December 22, 2017 at 6:46 PM - Response #7

See earlier comments about RD that are not obvious. If you are not careful, RD becomes not RD very fast if you use fixed size elements. All sizes need to be in percent values and not all "widgets" will behave correctly.

1) can we revert without losing what we have if we find we don't like it?

Yes, you can switch back and forth - so long as the things you do are all created via the CC editor. Can't see your site contents, but if have old content (images, tables?) that are fixed in size that content will not be "Responsive".

2) does this generate a lot of questions/complaints that take a lot of admin time to handle?

Don't think so. As noted above, the wide text screens may not be liked by those with wide screens. Add some images to break up pages with all text OR use CSS to create columns of text.

3) Are there some browsers or specific device OS's that work ok with the old format but may have issues with RD or the FB connection?

If it works with current, should work fine. Only issue with RD is that it loads a boatload of EXTRA stuff because nobody bothered to filter out the stuff not required. Evil or Very Mad So RD sites tend to load a bit slower and eat up a bit more bandwidth for mobile.

How stable and solid are the RD and FB connection features now (December 2017)?

So far RD has had a few more bugs vs standard. Have not tried RD on FB - but I'm thinking the FB layout is probably much more confined vs real RD. All scripts must use https So some widgets may not work on FB.

Look at some of the RD designs - there are a lot of variations - find one you like and pick the options they have. It can create a very clean look and you have more space - my main issue with original designs. Just be cautious with wide text only pages.

I can't switch because way back, made pages wider, etc and RD does not support. Working on some stuff to make it easier to do.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 10:46 AM - Response #8

Thanks for the feedback!

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Monday, January 29, 2018 at 5:47 PM - Response #9

I finally got motivated enough to convert our site to RD. Looks great - very happy with a few gotchas. I could dump a bunch of prior code I used to make the pages wider. RD is slightly narrower, but close enough.

Main motivation was for mobile devices. Now that's the #1 advantage to me. Easier to use and way better display.

This thread actually made me think about it some more. Took me about 40 hrs, not counting experimenting with settings - bit bit confusing Shocked

There are a few more modifications (overrides to CC styles) that I'm trying out. Already do the font size, but probably will go back to highlighting the background when hovering vs just a font change. Much easier to see a hover change. That would be a trivial option for CC to add Idea

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Monday, January 29, 2018 at 5:49 PM - Response #10

P.S. Our site already was designed to avoid large wide swaths of text. See Bothell History to see what I mean. Those pages took the most work. They used to be tables but are all now CSS styled.

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