It's 2015 and the advertising dept requested a non-responsive site

Because they don’t care or know what that is. The marketing director also refers to web pages as “slides”. This is an awkward dot com company. That is where I work. It’s about time I leave. That is all.

Do you have an opportunity to state the case for responsive design? Show them why you should do responsive design!

That sounds rough and I personally wouldn’t want to work on that project. I wouldn’t be able to show it off konwing that it would be unusable in a portfolio.


I’ve actually been excluded from the planning or organization on this. It’s possible that the higher ups are not interested in my input. Not sure why. So the answer is no, I haven’t. I’ve only recently learned about the project that will be handed to me shortly.

God speed. I truly feel sorry for you.

On the bright side, it’s easier to code?

I feel for you, having been in a similar position in the past - when I saw the spec and the proposed “design” it made me cringe.

I’d suggest talking to your manger, or senior manager to state your case, eg why your input at the planning stage is vital and could help avoid serious design/usability/accessibilty mistakes, plus offer ideas for improvements, all of which could be essential for the sites success.

If you get a big “no” write a letter to you boss and cc to any other mangers responsible and state that you take no responsibility for any failure arising from the planning and implementation of design and content. In other words you’d then just code up the site as they specified and let them take the blame if it fails. At least then you have made your feelings known.

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I am considering writing an email detailing the scenario. That may be the only thing that may save me. I think my passivity has made it easy for people to take blame for certain situations. I have to learn to stop allowing that.

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I can understand the feeling you have. It’s like going back 3-4 years and also not a very good option to show in portfolio.

Don’t you have a meeting to convince them for a responsive solution?

Remember that being technically right won’t necessarily guarantee you stay employed.

I appreciate your passion for the latest and greatest, but is speaking up worth the risk of awakening the tiger?

When I was an employee, I learned to keep my mouth shut b/c it wasn’t worth jeopardizing my paycheck…

Responsive is popular and has a lot going for it, but it’s not the be all and end all. I still know people who aren’t convinced by it, which is fair enough. On some or all smart phones you can zoom in and out, and TBH, I sometimes prefer that. I wouldn’t worry too much.

@rpeg would be really interested in hearing how you went with this, I hope that it all went okay.

If you had some sort of positive response I’d suggest taking the user view ongoing, in a lot of cases taking the end user or customer experience tack on these sorts of issues can sometimes be a better way of tackling them than taking the purely technical line.

Hope all went well anyway.

Luckily something was worked out. The designer was able to argue the importance of responsiveness. Of course that sounds like an absurd statement, “This car should really come with airbags. What do you think?” However your advice sounds perfectly reasonable. I wasn’t involved with the early development of this so I didn’t have much opportunity to discuss anything

I won’t disclose the company but there are still growing pains in that regard. I’ve been unfortunate to never have worked in a department that is technically knowledgable and it’s becoming a problem. I’m lagging behind professionally as a result. Does anyone have advice on how to navigate this?

Not an easy one to navigate however I’d suggest that there are a bunch of external ways to get motivation and knowledge if you’re not able to get it internally to the organisation.

My suggestion would be Meet-ups/dev groups/coding bootcamps etc as ways to externally get what you need - I’d also push for training if you can as that is another way to look at keeping yourself on point.

All of the above are good from the point of view of both keeping your skills up to date but also to build networks. Eventually working in a non-tech team as a developer is going to start making you look around - having the networks in place before you do so is way better than starting to build them when you mentally get to that point

Do you have access to the web stats showing that the majority of the users are coming from mobile devices? If so, a screengrab of the site on your mobile phone should say more than you could, along with “75% of our users would see this:”

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