Save Lives! Don’t Design For Mobile!

Save Lives! Don’t Design For Mobile!

A few months ago I joined a Meetup group for hikers and spent a gorgeous day in Melbourne’s Dandenong Ranges with a bunch of strangers who shared my love of the outdoors.

After five hours of walking, talking and collecting a sufficient layer of mud on my boots, I got in my car and set off for the hour-long drive home through the suburbs and – like many other Generation Yers out there – pulled out my mobile phone at each red light to post photos of my day on my blog.

Dandenong Ranges
The Dandenong Ranges is beautiful. The damage to my car wasn’t so beautiful.

A great story… except for the bit when I accelerated at one of those red lights and smashed into the back of a rather large truck just a block from home.

I sat in my car swearing and not moving, wondering if the driver of the car in front had noticed. It turns out he did. A huge man jumped out of said truck and proceeded to scream at me in Russian, waving his arms about aggressively. I started crying. I got out of my car to inspect the damage. My little car was wrecked.

A week later I was $3000 out of pocket after paying for repairs to both vehicles. Ouch.

I was angry at myself for being careless and I was angry at the Russian for driving his stupid truck and getting in my way, but I was even angrier at WordPress. How dare WordPress make it convenient for me to use their website on my phone! If using WordPress was restricted to use on desktop computers where the only possibility of crashing is when booting up Windows, then I never would have crashed my car in the first place!

P.S. This is a Friday Funny, man, so don’t take this post too seriously.

Mobile responsive was once a trend and now it’s considered a must when developing a website, driven by statistics like this:

There are over 1 million more mobile devices activated every day across the world than there are babies born.

These days everyone expects to be able to access the internet wherever they are – when commuting to work, while waiting in line for a coffee, even going to the bathroom.

It’s disturbing and downright dangerous and must be stopped, if not to save lives than to save other small Japanese cars!

If you haven’t heard of responsive design, you might want to trade in your Commodore 64 for something a little less ancient.

Responsive Web Design
Responsive design should be outlawed!

Responsive websites adapt to the size of your device’s screen and automatically change to fit whatever you’re using, so as the screen gets smalls, the content shifts to best fit different screens. There are four general screen sizes that responsive design caters to: desktop monitors, laptops, tablets and mobile phones.

There are many perfectly good reasons why designing responsively (or irresponsibly) and encouraging people to use touch devices should be avoided at all costs:

  • Using touch devices is pretty gross. Researchers from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine at Queen Mary, University of London found that one-in-six mobile phones is contaminated with some sort of fecal matter, probably because their owners didn’t wash their hands after using the toilet. Yuck.
  • Tablets can knock out your teeth. People going to bed with their tablets are dozing off and then… wham! Their tablet falls and smacks them in the face.
  • Responsive design will send you broke. Do you remember the last time you were using your mobile phone and saw an ad on a responsive site? Exactly.
  • The lives of innocent young children are being caught up in our obsession with responsive design! Research has found 11-year-old pedestrians in the UK are three times as likely to be hurt or seriously injured going to school than 10-year olds because it is the age when they get their first mobile phone.
  • Tablet devices hurt your hands. Doctors are treating tablet owners for repetitive strain injuries and aches and pains from holding their device and swiping on their screen.
  • You have to do the never ending scroll to find navigation on a mobile site. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve visited a site only to be confronted with the mobile version rather than the desktop version I was expecting, then had to scroll for a mile to find the navigation.
Sorry, no internet today
This is what my phone should have said to me…

Responsive sites might look cool when you’re adjusting a desktop browser, but it’s just not worth the risk! There are better things I could have spent that $3000 on.

So next time you’re planning out a design for a site, think of the children and the small cars out there and just say no.

P.P.S. Before you start judging me in the comments, I’ve definitely learnt my lesson when it comes to driving and using my phone…

Do you think responsive design sucks or is it the bees knees? Have a rant in the comments below.

Image credits: Wikimedia Commonsirina slutskyAbeeeerTDOMMDAD.