Responsive decided

The battle field was laid out and the fight between the quick, safe, easy  fixed viewport and the reliable, standard responsive viewport was a foot. Then walked in the boss… Google. Recently Google has decided which method you must follow to get good rankings on its search engines. Is it the best choose? And should Google get to decide?

Fixed or Responsive Viewport Post

I recently posted about both methods and how they both have their pro’s, but also their con’s. The fixed method was amazing for the designer and developer to get a design for all devices created then developed. This would then view flawlessly on all devices. The implementation of this was also simple with some simple JavaScript and the viewport. The trouble came when we cross browser tested it as some of the browser of some devices didn’t listen to the viewport in the same manner. We fixed the most popular browsers and made fixes for the others. This I always felt was a work around and not the best method, but it worked very well, much faster and meant we could give a true design to the client.

On the other hand we had the other method, which was to set the viewport to device-width. This meant we had to make sure the website worked in all device sizes. This then also meant we couldn’t have one true design, so it would come down to how we could make the website breakdown in a smooth creative way, that also looked amazing. The time to slowly do this and test on multiples devices takes longer, not much but enough to notice. It also relies on the developer knowing good design, good code and best practices. Then again it is worth it as it makes a better website I think and a better developer. If you can envision how the given design can breakdown over all the pixel range and still have a great design look then it shows you are a good coder.


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Now Google has decided and choose the full responsive viewport method for you. Recently Google Webmasters released a update that has a feature call ‘Mobile Usability’. In this section you can see any mobile performance errors on your website, which I have not been indexed for yet but I read the learn more link instead. In this they specify on what they will mark you on for mobile devices, as they want to give to the user the best website that not only has the best content, but is also the best to view. If you have the best information in front of you and can’t read it then the information become rubbish. For this reason you will have to go down the same method they have chosen.

Even though I have used the fixed viewport method for this website and some others, I believe Google is correct. They are looking to give the user a website that is user friendly and accessible. If you set the viewport at 767px and view it on a iPhone 6 plus, then the button will be for example 20px. If you view that same website on a iPhone 5 with a smaller screen, then that 20px button will be relative in size to 767px and so will be about 10px. This button is now not very user friendly. I think the other method is the quick fix way, but not the best way.

It does make me question why can you set the viewport to a fixed width then? What application would this be useful in?

Google’s New Rules

Published by Chris Pateman - PR Coder

A Digital Technical Lead, constantly learning and sharing the knowledge journey.

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