Technology

Lunchtime Links: When Responsive Design Falters

By / Feb 1, 2013 (Comstock/Jupiterimages/Thinkstock)

Why one startup ditched the trendy mobile/desktop design style after finding it didn’t really suit its needs. Also: ideas for attending conferences on a dime.

Sometimes you write something, and then you run into something else that validates your point perfectly.

The other day in a blog post, I argued that responsive design wasn’t lazy, but it simply needs to be the right fit for your organizational needs. If it doesn’t make sense, you shouldn’t use it.

That is why the story of GoCardless’ decision to stop using responsive design is fascinating as a case study. That and more in today’s Lunchtime Links:

Going unresponsive: Responsive design may be seen as a little bit of a holy grail in some corners of the association world, but when is it simply a bad idea? One startup, GoCardless, explains the process it went through in choosing to move away from a responsive look. “We didn’t have the resource to implement entirely different designs for desktop and mobile,” the company’s Hiroki Takeuchi recently explained. “This restricted us to simpler designs that could work for both formats. In some cases, this even led to compromised designs which weren’t great for either format.” Among other factors, it found just 2 percent of its users were on mobile, and it was forcing poor design decisions that didn’t work well for web or mobile.

Hit conferences on a budget: For the past few years, Rosetta Thurman has been offering up lists of nonprofit conferences that cost less than $500 to attend. “I still get all happy-dance excited whenever I see associations hosting learning opportunities for nonprofit professionals that don’t cost an arm, a leg, and a kidney,” she writes. Her current list includes sessions on social media, nonprofits, and board governance from locations across the country—which could prove useful if you don’t have a huge budget to spend on travel.

A pitch to respect curation: In certain journalistic circles, curation has become almost a dirty word, or depending on the person making the argument, one that is being used the wrong way. Writing for the Columbia Journalism Review, Steven Rosenbaum gives curation the kind of full-throated defense it hasn’t been getting in the press lately. “Information overload drives content consumers to look for human-filtered, journalist-vetted, intellectually related material,” he explains. “This hunger for coherence isn’t unreasonable; it’s essential. And for some of us who think and write every day, gathering bits of thread that can then be elegantly knit into a thoughtful narrative isn’t cheating, or lazy. Far from it.” We liked the argument so much that we curated his post.

The logo landscape in 2013: Is your association’s next logo rebranding going to be modest but effective like eBay’s recent redesign, or bold and controversial like the University of California’s? If you’re looking for some ideas, Simon Goble of the business card company Moo has some really fascinating insights that he’s shared on Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog.

What are you reading online today? Tell us all about it in the comments.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now and a former newspaper guy. More »

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