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TAKE POLL Responsive [RWD] or Adaptive [AWD] ?

Oct 31, 2011
11
2
First Name
Ben
With dealer websites, for me the holy grail is a desktop site that can be sized down appropriately for tablets (iPads). Then a mobile layout that is done right. It's the hybrid approach like @craigh mentioned. So far I haven't seen a vendor hit a home run with the mobile site. I've seen one or two say they have, but they're probably one of the most un-usable mobile sites I've come across :/

Very interesting discussions going on here! Properly built responsive websites will work amazingly well on any device (including with touch interfaces). Someone mentioned that responsive sites need to download all the same CSS and image assets as on desktop.... this is not true if the site is built properly as each device can request it's own assets.

Anyway, check out a couple of these RWD dealer websites we've built. We've had nothing but amazing feedback from our customers and the results speak for themselves!

 
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craigh

Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
1,707
1,180
First Name
Craig
Anyway, check out a couple of these RWD dealer websites we've built. We've had nothing but amazing feedback from our customers and the results speak for themselves!


I have very few complaints about these sites - the sites themselves are actually quite nice compared to most.
I was more impressed before I saw the inventory pages though - they're a bit plain and scattered. They collapse nicely to mobile, but on my desktop they seem to be a bit taped together. The VLP listings are especially barren - it just seems to be lines of text stacked on top of each other (King's Auto specifically).

There were a few responsive issues on my phone with the forms - inputs scattered all over, forms that are way too long for me to ever consider filling out on a phone, the service page didn't load properly the first time, etc. My issue would not be with the responsiveness of the site in this case, but rather with the fact that I still think there's a better mobile experience than this and you're sacrificing that opportunity for the sake of convenience (IMHO). If you were to offer a full-blown CMS that allowed your customers to maintain content on all parts of the website, can you still offer a good responsive layout? What if your client wants to make their own Recommended Service menu and they don't add "l-column--medium-3" to the columns - what will happen to this page when it collapses?

Responsive is easy when you have a set number of pages and you have a web designer managing your content for you.
Many of the members on these forums are not web designers and still want to maintain all the content on their sites.

Either way, good job on the sites - they're certainly better than most of the options out there for clients who don't require a higher level of control over their own sites.
 

v8apps

Lot Lizard
Apr 25, 2012
42
5
First Name
Smit
There is greater support for RWD and is why I would recommend going with that.
 

craigh

Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
1,707
1,180
First Name
Craig
There is greater support for RWD and is why I would recommend going with that.

What does this mean? Greater support?
They've been pushing RWD since 2013 and I have still yet to believe it's "required". There's certainly nothing wrong with it when it's done properly, but for many websites I still don't see it being necessary and I absolutely see the benefits of adaptive design.

Some of the responsive sites I've seen as of late have so much CSS jammed in them for different screen sizes that they might as well be adaptive - they haven't saved any work, they've just managed to use the same content in multiple layouts without changing the code. I would rather offer the different layouts in fixed groupings, each optimized on it's own for the target devices.
 

v8apps

Lot Lizard
Apr 25, 2012
42
5
First Name
Smit
There was a major change between bootstrap 2 and 3 (that is what we use) in terms of how the columns collapse

When I said greater support, I meant its easier to find people who know how RWD works specifically in the bootstrap segment
 

craigh

Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
1,707
1,180
First Name
Craig
This is getting off topic, but I'm still confused.

The difference between responsive design and fixed design is whether you use % or px and whether your website collapses or just resizes rigidly. Bootstrap can do either one and is often used in both cases.

The real debate is whether we should offer a separate website dedicated to mobile users or if we should just make the desktop website fit on their phone. Where I work that decision is made by the UX expert on the project who understands what data is being conveyed on the phone vs. the desktop and which route makes the most sense for the end user.
 

v8apps

Lot Lizard
Apr 25, 2012
42
5
First Name
Smit
Ok so on both points
1) Mobile website vs responsive/adaptive website - Responsive / Adaptive websites hands down
pros:
Easy to maintain
Content is the same on mobile as it is on desktop
Richer user experience
Its a full blown site with all the functionality, just for a smaller resolution
cons:
bandwidth utilization
loading times due to bandwidth issues

To each of the cons, here are my thoughts
bandwidth is getting cheaper day by day
most users are on WIFI at work or home anyway
Loading times wont matter much because of better bandwidth, plus cell phones are getting more processing power

2) Responsive vs Adaptive
I prefer responsive because it takes up the desired width on the screen irrespective of the exact breakpoint
 

craigh

Super Moderator
May 19, 2011
1,707
1,180
First Name
Craig
Now we're on the same page, even if our opinions differ. In many cases your analysis is correct, I'm just not certain Dealership Websites are one of those cases yet.
 

Chris Cachor

3rd Base Coach
Apr 29, 2011
433
204
First Name
Chris
One thing that's gone unmentioned, I think especially among the responsive layouts, is that the mobile first design methodology doesn't mean you should forget about the desktop. Work happens on the desktop. People still do quite a bit of shopping and research on desktops. From what I've seen, too much has been sacrificed on the desktop to cater to specific mobile quirks or the design first methodology.

What I mean is the desktop version of some of these sites look like a stretched out mobile site.
 

Chris Cachor

3rd Base Coach
Apr 29, 2011
433
204
First Name
Chris
Someone mentioned that responsive sites need to download all the same CSS and image assets as on desktop.... this is not true if the site is built properly as each device can request it's own assets.

While that's true, the full HTML payload isn't. For search and detail pages I think this can matter quite a bit. Here's a good post talking about this that I think relates a lot to dealer sites (and not predominantly text based sites)

https://signalvnoise.com/posts/3745-responsive-design-works-best-as-a-nipntuck

Sometimes it is easier to use separate templates. And makes much more sense in this implementation.
 
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