Responsive or Separate – how you build is how you’re built

There’s been a lot of great debate about whether it’s best to build responsive sites or separate mobile sites. Like most things, it depends. Here’s a theory – the approach you take (or take with an agency) is an outward manifestation of your company’s personality.

If your org chart looks like this, you can build a site like this (or this… or this…):


How does the responsive design process work? It’s fast. It’s flexible. It requires trust & compromise between everyone involved. The designers & developers need to have the responsibility & permission to make decisions about content and layout as they go. Changes can happen fast. ‘Finished’ isn’t in the scoping document. If your company is fluid & flexible, then a similar web development process will work for you.

If your org chart looks like this, you can build a site like this:


How do separate sites work? They’re about silos and chains of communication. Team A takes on the mobile part, Team B does the website, and Team C handles feedback. Status meetings, scoping documents, Gant charts. Here’s our new app that does something similar to the site. Come to the launch party.

Of course, structuring your website to match your org chart has never been a good idea…

Talk to me about this article @irishstu

update: This is an example of Conway’s Law – thanks Dermot Casey for pointing it out

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