I keep noticing a trend. It scares me a little because professionally I – along with thousands of fellow web designers – am investing time and effort in responsive design but then I see something like Medium releasing an iOS app or Facebook telling us they can’t make some photos fit onto a Netbook using one codebase I start to think there’s something else on the agenda that means responsive design as we currently know it will never truly be adopted by companies whose business model is data collection.

Content and data publishers are adopting responsive, The BBC, Guardian, Gov.UK, Time and many more outlets are all forging ahead with responsive sites, single, efficient codebases and designs but they all seem to live in the “outbound content” category.

When I looked at a couple of pending app updates on my Nexus 5 (I assume permissions will be broadly similar on other devices) I was actually pretty shocked to see just how much power I grant Facebook when I install their app and looking at others like LinkedIn and Paypal, similarly invasive permissions.

A responsive website won’t be able to do these things. It’s just a dumb content delivery mechanism for the most part.

All have websites that are viewable on phones but they push their apps heavily and looking at sites like Medium, lauded for their simplicity and ease of use, I sometimes feel backing responsive is something only the outbound content businesses ultimately want to do.

Excuse me while I apply another wrap on tinfoil to my hat …



James Young

Written by James Young

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