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[Debate] Responsive Templates vs Mobile Skins

Discussion in 'General XenForo Discussion and Feedback' started by Digital Doctor, Oct 10, 2012.


What is better for *YOUR* forum ?

  1. Responsive Templates

  2. Mobile styles

  3. Depends

    0 vote(s)
  4. Not sure

  5. WTF is a Responsive Template ?

  6. Selena Gomez is hot

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

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

    Marcus likes this.
  2. Andrej

    Andrej Well-Known Member

    Hm, I am not certain on what is the difference between those two. Please enlighten me. :)
  3. kkm323

    kkm323 Well-Known Member

    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. tom2tom

    tom2tom Member

    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.
    faeronsayn likes this.
  5. 3c

    3c Active Member

    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...
  6. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Hi Arty ... Can you tell us the benefits of Responsive design from your perspective ?
    Andrej likes this.
  7. sforum

    sforum Active Member

    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!
  8. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. sforum

    sforum Active Member

    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.
  10. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Wow. That is responsive !
    Does it increase the font size if the user is wearing glasses or squinting ? :)
  11. sforum

    sforum Active Member


    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.).
    faeronsayn likes this.
  12. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    Dynamic CSS changes based on a feed from the front facing camera ! :)
  13. sforum

    sforum Active Member

    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.
  14. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    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 ?
  15. Arty

    Arty Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. sforum

    sforum Active Member

    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
  17. Digital Doctor

    Digital Doctor Well-Known Member

    It's probably me.
    I'm half Scottish, my sarcasm is genetic.
  18. Hlchia

    Hlchia Active Member

    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

    faeronsayn likes this.
  19. Hlchia

    Hlchia Active Member

    This seals the deal for responsive for me:

    source: http://www.webpronews.com/facebook-...apps-combined-according-to-zuckerberg-2012-10
  20. RobParker

    RobParker Well-Known Member

    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.

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