I began my career as a web designer. I had a small firm that focused on inte­grated mar­ket­ing cam­paigns, pri­mar­ily focused on the web pres­ence of small busi­nesses. There were three main chal­lenges I remem­ber that led to annoy­ing, monot­o­nous work: opti­miz­ing images for the web, opti­miz­ing for the var­i­ous com­puter screen res­o­lu­tions, and deal­ing with the dif­fer­ent web browsers. Fast for­ward to today and web design­ers and mar­keters have the same chal­lenges ampli­fied due to the explo­sion in mobile devices. Enter the ele­gant approach of Respon­sive Web Design (RWD). How­ever, with today’s rich media usage, build­ing out the capa­bil­ity to detect the device and serve up the appro­pri­ately sized image or video can cre­ate a lot of extra work on the part of the web devel­oper. This is where I sit back as an Adobe employee and some­one who still designs web sites now and again and think, “thank you.”

I’m very excited about the work Adobe’s doing to get rid of the efforts in cre­at­ing mul­ti­ple ren­di­tions of images for the smart­phone or high-resolution tablet and are let­ting graphic artists, design­ers and devel­op­ers focus on cre­at­ing more cre­ative than work­ing the assem­bly line of cut­ting up images and devel­op­ing mech­a­nisms to deliver the right image or video file to the cus­tomer.  Add in the capa­bil­i­ties of respon­sive design where one code base can be man­aged to facil­i­tate the expe­ri­ences across tra­di­tional desk­top browsers, tablets, smart­phones and what­ever new device you may be car­ry­ing, and we’re now talk­ing about real ROI.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I under­stand that Respon­sive Web Design is no sil­ver bul­let for man­ag­ing the dif­fer­ences each device has and the expe­ri­ences they will pro­duce. A mar­keter and designer still has to think through their site vis­i­tor, their loca­tion, their moti­va­tion and the likely use case they’re try­ing to accom­plish. With­out it, one misses the fact that stand­ing inside a store I want to find inven­tory quickly in the user expe­ri­ence and when sit­ting back on my couch, I want to browse mag­a­zine style with giant, beau­ti­ful imagery. Con­tent is still king, but we now have some tools to enhance the ben­e­fits of Respon­sive Web Design.

Adobe has col­lab­o­rated with Crown to flush out the best prac­tices and tools to take advan­tage of when choos­ing a respon­sive approach.  There are insights on how to think and start “mobile first” and how to man­age per­for­mance of every page load whether it’s on a small smart­phone with a less pow­er­ful proces­sor to the full fea­tured desk­top com­puter. Down­load now and read it on your mobile!