Toggling Bad Design


This week has seen a flurry of posts about the possibility of adding a 'toggle' to our websites so that if a user wants to see the 'full' site they can flip a switch and the responsive design will just go away.

We got ourselves a reader

I remember reading Bruce Lawsons post about this and stating in the comments that responsive design is "more than just a technical happenstance". Later on reading Alex's post about this at the start of March. I thought it was a nice idea, having tweeted with Alex about it t] we both agree it should be at a 'browser' level and not something we (as designers and developers) should be worrying about.

This week Roger Johansson wrote a post of similar ilk, showing us that it's not really 'a lot of work' to implement it. Jordan Moore took this post and added some notes to it telling us that he wished "I had a toggle for the bad responsive designs, the ones that “don’t get it".” and came up with an idea for icons for the user to easily choose from.

That Andy Clarke took Jordan's icon idea and made some more simpler icons that site visitors would moreover understand.

Unsurprisingly me

I (unsurprisingly) think this is a cop-out. If you think that we should be giving the site visitor the option to turn off your device agnostic design so they get a desktop view. You've not done your job correctly in the first plate.

As Jordan says he wants to turn off RWD on bad sites. Understandable as this is it should be something mitigated at the browser level.

The problem herein lies, I feel, with bad design, bad decisions and bad implementation. If you're 'doing your job' properly your responsive design should be perfect for the visitors needs so that they don't have to 'turn it off'.

You should be testing your designs with actual users, solving problems as best is possible. Which, may mean not even going down a responsive route. It is not a panacea.

We shouldn't as web designers/developers thinking of including such a toggle as it undermines the work we've created for our clients and their users. It's like asking MacDonald's to make you a double egg mcmuffin after 10.30am.