Every day someone mentions responsive design. It’s hard for someone who’s been in the industry for a while to understand the appeal of this new buzzword considering all the published works of many experts focusing on contextual design, predicting the evolution of computer use forecasted by the shrinking of processors and the exponential increase of bandwidth and remote access. The focus is almost always on the devices and the technologies behind them rather than the human factor driving the change when it comes to business.
“But it’s a good reminder of how consumers are utilizing these devices to shop. And it highlights the fact that there are many shopping scenarios. You might see people scanning a product in a store with their smartphone, finding a better price online and then finishing the purchase at home on their tablet.”
What the above leaves out is the consideration that consumerism and shopping have changed as a result of simple access to information and increased capabilities in production. Where the industrial revolution brought about “business administration” in the world of supply-side economics, we’re seen a shift through the information age to consumer-choice economics. In other words, consumers are now in control of their access to goods and the information used for consideration of purchase. The devices and access points are merely channels or conduits that enable consumption. Instead of responsive design and focusing on technologies and compatibility, it is time to focus on human context, human behavior, the human factors that drive the evolution of these channels.