One size fits all
Are you currently viewing this website on a desktop computer, on a laptop, on a tablet or on a mobile phone? Depending on the device you are using, you are likely looking at a different screen. As a matter of fact, let’s check our website’s homepage on different device types and screen modes: desktop PC, iPad, and iPhone, but also portrait and landscape (see the following screenshot).
Judging from the screenshot above, the smaller a screen is, the less content appears. Or maybe not? In fact, most or all of the content appears gradually, but in a much more restricted space and in a different way. It is mostly the interface structure that changes, adapting itself to the screen resolution and size. This sort of design is widely known as Responsive Web Design (RWD).
Meanwhile, a large number of websites have yet to react to this technology. This means that
they were originally built only for desktops, so they don’t adapt to the screen size; as a result, the user always has to pinch, pan, zoom and rotate in order to see the content. However, very often, the user can hardly see anything;
they also come with a mobile version, which however looks quite different from the desktop version, since they each serve a different purpose: mobile versions offer limited functionality and serve as a quick snapshot of the website, while desktop versions offer full functionality.
Nowadays, the mobile market share is growing at a rapid pace, while fewer and fewer people buy desktops/laptops; a tablet or a wide-screen phone usually serve the main needs of the average user, who is mostly looking for fast interaction and easy access.
As a result, (home)pages have become smaller, buttons and boxes have got even smaller, menus have been shrunk; it is only the need for translation shortening which has grown. To cut a long story short, localization has not become equally responsive. Why? In Truncate to fit, reduce to understand this issue is discussed further.
Author: Yannis Evangelou