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It’s Time To Stop Selling Responsive Design

Posted on 23/7/15 in Websites

Dear Agencies, Designers & Developers.

The time has come. We need to stop referring to Responsive Design as a feature, or an optional add-on to websites.

This week there have been 3 separate occasions where I have seen advertising for agencies where the major distinction of their service offering is that the websites they create are responsive. One even touted it as a ‘premium’ feature they offer.

Don’t get me wrong – I think these agencies should be making responsive websites. In fact I think that all new websites being made should be responsive. And therein lies the problem.

Responsive Design should be the default

It’s been 5 years since Ethan wrote his seminal article on Responsive Design. It has gone from being a theory, to an online trend, to becoming best practice on the web.

And yet we still sell it to clients as though it is something optional. We use it as a marketing technique to draw people in with the latest buzzword. We upsell it as something additional – when it should be something we offer to everyone.

It’s time to stop.

We need to make our sites responsive by default. We need to do it for every job, for every client.
We need to stop using it as a selling point.

And we need to reframe our conversations and marketing to reflect that.

From Selling to Educating

There’s an argument to be made that many clients don’t know the importance of a website that is device agnostic – so we need to tell them. This is absolutely true. It is our job as designers to educate them as to what the best practices are and why.

So let’s do that. Let’s tell them why their site needs to be considered for all devices. Let’s explain to them how it works, why it may take more time and cost more money. Let’s tell them why it isn’t an optional extra.

And let’s build amazing sites that anyone can use.

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