Responsive Design no magic solution

Right now, the world is moving into smaller screen. With smartphones such as Apple iPhone, Android based smartphones and Blackberry leading the world into small screen mobile world. A major change from the desktop world. Responsive design is hailed as a magical solution for bridging the web design between two worlds. Personally I do not think it is. Why ? Let us take a look.

Scott Shaw, head of technology at ThoughtWorks Australia, told CIO Australia that he is “wary” about the idea of a ‘one size fits all’ design approach to creating an optimal Web experience that is consistent across multiple platforms.

“If responsive Web design becomes another word for ‘build it once via some kind of magic platform and have it translated into a number of different devices’ then I think that’s not right,” he said.

“People are anxious to create an application that can be offered both on Android and iOS app stores very quickly… If you really want to optimise the experience say on an iPhone or an iPad then you’ve got to be able to use the native controls when necessary. Don’t be lulled into the promise of cross platform mobile development, it doesn’t come for free.”

Source: CIO Australia

Most web design is currently built and optimized around 960px width. Responsive design is also built around that concept. The difference and biggest advantage of responsive design is that in its simplicity, the design will adjust itself to its environment. So, if your design must look the same on small and big screen, responsive design is not the solution.

 Responsive design is formed around the idea of simple design that can be scaled, both upward and downward. With one design, it will looks great on small and big screen. It is not without its flaws, however. In my personal application of responsive design, it is impossible to get the exact design on small and big screen. In small screen design, the design will cascade. While in big screen, and I mean, really big screen, the design will leave a lot of whitespace around the content.
Creating specific design for mobile and desktop world is also impossible. Why ? Just look at the different screen size of the smartphones, tablets and desktop. From 320×240 to 1920×1600, portrait to landscape mode. The amount of resolution that the design must support is staggering.  It is simply not feasible in terms of time and money to design for each individual screen size and resolution.
Responsive design is bridging both world, but it is not a magical solution that enable developers and designers to create one design and it will work flawlessly. There is no such solution.
Do you agree ? Please share your comments below and let me know your thoughts on the topic.