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[Debate] Responsive Templates vs Mobile Skins

What is better for *YOUR* forum ?


  • Total voters
    57

Digital Doctor

Well-known member
#1
I'm trying to understand Responsive Templates.
vs Mobile Skins.
Anyone have some opinions on it ?
Pluses and Minuses of both ?


Responsive template will be much better than separate mobile template. There is one paid responsive template for XenForo in resources and I hope more will come in future.
 

kkm323

Well-known member
#3
I voted for reposnive templete because it make sense for me. Vistior wouldn't feel a big different and you don't have to worry about changing multiple templetes. Also Selena Gomez is hot but I don't know how thats relevant to the poll!
 
#4
I am waiting for more responsive themes to come around.
Then we will use one of them for shure.

Why? It delivers one similar look and feel no matter which device you are using.
At the moment with two themes for desktop and mobile it feels like a totally different thing.
 

3c

Active member
#5
Responsive is just too cool..and I really wish I knew how to take the two CSS files of the one I have and make it work for xf...

but I don't yet know xf that well yet...
 

Digital Doctor

Well-known member
#6
Style has responsive design, which means it works on desktop and mobile browsers. Mobile version has slightly different layout, allowing to fit all content on small mobile phone screens.

Style has configurable post layout. You can show poster's profile on left or right side and you can separate poster's profile from post.
Hi Arty ... Can you tell us the benefits of Responsive design from your perspective ?
 

sforum

Active member
#7
Responsive for me, definitely:

1) Better user experience - The forum looks the same/similar regardless of how it is accessed, due to using the same style.
2) Better Admin experience - The forum is easier to upgrade/maintain, due to using a single style.

In any aspect of running a forum (or maintaining any database, for that matter) duplication is bad, so having a single style for the whole thing is much more preferable to different styles for different devices, in my opinion!
 

RobParker

Well-known member
#8
1) Better user experience - The forum looks the same/similar regardless of how it is accessed, due to using the same style.
I disagree. The UI should take into the device and method which is accessing it. Having the same style for tiny touch screens and desktop/mouse isn't a good thing necessarily.

So far I've taken "responsive" to mean elements disappear and you get left with the basics but those basics (e.g. buttons, text boxes, link, etc) are still the ones designed for a desktop UI.
 

sforum

Active member
#9
I disagree. The UI should take into the device and method which is accessing it. Having the same style for tiny touch screens and desktop/mouse isn't a good thing necessarily.
That's what "responsive" means, though - the elements change, in response to the device that is being used.

So far I've taken "responsive" to mean elements disappear and you get left with the basics but those basics (e.g. buttons, text boxes, link, etc) are still the ones designed for a desktop UI.
In a truly responsive style, the buttons/etc. should change to accommodate the different input methods. So tiny links would become nice big buttons for fat fingers, etc.
 

Digital Doctor

Well-known member
#10
In a truly responsive style, the buttons/etc. should change to accommodate the different input methods. So tiny links would become nice big buttons for fat fingers, etc.
Wow. That is responsive !
Does it increase the font size if the user is wearing glasses or squinting ? :)
 

sforum

Active member
#11
Wow. That is responsive !
Does it increase the font size if the user is wearing glasses or squinting ? :)
No.

CSS has no control over your eyes. It does have total control over the elements of a web page, however, and can dynamically change these based on various criteria (e.g. user agent, device resolution, specific user settings, etc.).
 

Digital Doctor

Well-known member
#12
CSS has no control over your eyes. It does have total control over the elements of a web page, however, and can dynamically change these based on various criteria (e.g. user agent, device resolution, specific user settings, etc.).
Dynamic CSS changes based on a feed from the front facing camera ! :)
 

sforum

Active member
#13
Dynamic CSS changes based on a feed from the front facing camera ! :)
I'm not sure why you're obsessed with the notion that the style would somehow have to interact with the user's face/eyes, when no-one mentioned any such thing and it's not at all necessary in order for a style to be responsive. It's quite simple:

IF [mobile_device] THEN [make_everything_big] ELSE [present_it_as_usual_desktop_format]

I'm massively over-simplifying, but I'm trying to avoid another facetious remark.
 

Digital Doctor

Well-known member
#14
Sorry. I was just joking about the user's eyes. Sorry. Bad delivery.
I think it's because I'm rushing ....

Does anyone know if Arty's style has buttons that responsively adapt to screen size ?
 

Arty

Well-known member
#15
Those are completely different concepts that are handled on different levels.
Mobile style: mobile browser is detected on server side and forum outputs appropriate style.
Responsive design: everything is detected on client side, forum outputs same content as for desktop browser.

Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Document size: that's biggest disadvantage of responsive design. Server sends same document as for desktop browser, so document might be quite large. It also affects loading time if your internet connection is slow.

Browser detection: that's major problem with mobile style. While most mobile browsers are easy to detect via user agent, many devices use standard user agent string or custom weird user agent string, making them hard to detect. List of user agents has to be maintained.

Screen resolution: width of mobile devices varies. There are small phones, medium phones, Galaxy Note, tablets. Mobile style will output minimum amount of information, which might result in wasted space on bigger devices. Responsive layout will change dynamically, working perfectly on all devices.

Same look and feel: mobile styles rarely look anything like forum's default style. Responsive design has same look and feel on all devices.

Both concepts are valid choices and they aren't mutually exclusive, though using both at the same time will require a lot of maintenance. So my vote goes for Selena Gomez.
 

sforum

Active member
#16
Sorry. I was just joking about the user's eyes. Sorry. Bad delivery.
No worries; sorry if I sounded snappy. I thought you were missing the point of responsive design, and so were mocking the people voting for it based on incorrect assumptions - clearly that wasn't the case!

Bloody forums and their easily misconstrued, emotionless, text-based communication. :p
 

Hlchia

Active member
#18
Very well summarised :)

I prefer responsive and that's why i paid USD39 even when Russ's mobile style is free

hope to see XF 1.2 comes with a native responsive style, that will make it in the forefront in forums software, again

Those are completely different concepts that are handled on different levels.
Mobile style: mobile browser is detected on server side and forum outputs appropriate style.
Responsive design: everything is detected on client side, forum outputs same content as for desktop browser.

Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Document size: that's biggest disadvantage of responsive design. Server sends same document as for desktop browser, so document might be quite large. It also affects loading time if your internet connection is slow.

Browser detection: that's major problem with mobile style. While most mobile browsers are easy to detect via user agent, many devices use standard user agent string or custom weird user agent string, making them hard to detect. List of user agents has to be maintained.

Screen resolution: width of mobile devices varies. There are small phones, medium phones, Galaxy Note, tablets. Mobile style will output minimum amount of information, which might result in wasted space on bigger devices. Responsive layout will change dynamically, working perfectly on all devices.

Same look and feel: mobile styles rarely look anything like forum's default style. Responsive design has same look and feel on all devices.

Both concepts are valid choices and they aren't mutually exclusive, though using both at the same time will require a lot of maintenance. So my vote goes for Selena Gomez.
 

Hlchia

Active member
#19
This seals the deal for responsive for me:

And the thing that I think a lot of people don’t think about is that there are actually more people in the world using Facebook on mobile Web, right, so not using the apps on iOS or Android, but actually just going to a browser on a phone. There are more people doing that than the iPhone and all of Android phones combined, right? So it’s actually a pretty diverse ecosystem.
Translation: Mobile web is HUGE for Facebook moving forward.
source: http://www.webpronews.com/facebook-...apps-combined-according-to-zuckerberg-2012-10
 

RobParker

Well-known member
#20
That's what "responsive" means, though - the elements change, in response to the device that is being used.

In a truly responsive style, the buttons/etc. should change to accommodate the different input methods. So tiny links would become nice big buttons for fat fingers, etc.
My point was that currently the only "responsive" design I've seen (and the one I assume that encouraged this thread) doesn't do that.