Smashing Conf: Design Consistency For The Responsive Web

Patty Toland currently working at  Filament group.  She talked about how to design consistency across responsive web. Here are the slides.

  • When doing responsive site, client almost expect everything to be the same, just give us the break point
  • Reality check: samsung, android etc, there are just overwhelming sizes and different type of devices(watch, e-reader)
  • 67% of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to buy a site’s service/product. 

What is design consistency

  • consistency is found in that work show whole and details are suitable for the occasion
  • RWD needs to be ready for all different devices even when it’s not yet invented
  • Triangle (speed, access, scale, style)


  • they want page load within 2 seconds
  • 250 milliseconds difference is detectable by users, and they’ll choose the faster one
  • your analytics won’t tell you who left your site before it showed up
  • filesize and page speed is design choice
  • Challenges: custom fonts
    • is it necessary? For everyone? Immediately?
  • Speed should be part of the design process


  • there is no reason to limit access to your content
  • progressive enhancement is your friend
  • involve QA teams when we’re talking about accessibility, bring them into conversation


  • breakpoints (320, 768, 1024 is good starting point for static
  • don’t necessary want to force them into development . Table responsive tool: Table Saw
  • Do you really need those design element? like different fonts, rounded corner?
  • Animations are very laggy on Android: try lay them over instead of moving things around 
  • Amulator won’t feel like the device feel
  • Consistent is not identical