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Your Web Presence: Why Responsive Design Falls Short

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By Joe Dysart

Indeed, Jamshidi is far from alone. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s CEO, has invested heavily in creating Facebook apps for mobile phones, which often run much faster than responsive websites on those mobile devices.

Even so, scores of designers championing responsive web design are either unaware of the unacceptable usability they’re creating for desktop and laptop users, or, they’re simply willing to sacrifice desktop and laptop usability in the name of the iPhone and related trendables.

When challenged by desktop and laptop users regarding usability, champions of responsive Web design often insist that with the frenzied proliferation of smartphones and tablets, mobile is the de facto standard, and that the days of desktops and laptops are numbered.

Unfortunately, the statistics tell a starkly different story. In an April 2012 study conducted by comScore, a market research firm that has been chronicling the Web’s evolution for many years, 91.8 percent of all devices connected to the Web were PCs. Only 5.2 percent of that traffic was from smartphones surfing the Web. As for tablets, a paltry 2.5 percent of that category of device was actually accessing the Web during the study period.

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