Ugh, Mobile-First Web Design (sortof ranty)


Extremely [H]
Oct 29, 2000

I recently needed to check where the closest RMV (Registry of Motor Vehicles, what Massachusetts calls their DMV) location was, and what their hours were. I used Chrome in my 1366x768 Linux laptop and I was greeted with this monstrosity:


Scroll down a bit, and the screen was full of over-sized fat finger touch screen buttons that barely fit on one page, presumably to save users the "extreme inconvenience" of having to pinch in a little to be able to click a small link... ::banghead:


Now, you might blame the relatively low resolution on my laptop, but go there yourself, and you'll see that even at normal resolutions like 1920x1080, this is a real shit show.

If we go back in time to just before the change, courtesy of the internet archive, we find this:


The interface is nice and clean, everything fits on the screen, everything is appropriately dense, and not spread out to preschool-size. A good design. Maybe slightly dated, but still a good design.

This is only the latest (and worst) example of what I have seen as an on-going problem. So much emphasis is being placed on mobile designs, that webpages today are significantly less usable on desktops and laptops. I guess, ever since Google changed their search algorithm to favor pages with good mobile design, this was to some extent inevitable, but its driving me absolutely nuts.

I've long viewed my smart phone as a poor facsimile of a desktop, only to be used when I'm out and about and out of range of my proper desktop, the end all of computing platforms. I have one, and I use it for the convenience of looking stuff up on the go, but even when I do, I often prefer desktop sites, as the mobile ones feel to limited.

I understand the push towards usable mobile sites, but it should never come at the cost of desktop usability.

I mean, Jesus Herbert Walker Christ, how difficult is it to have a style sheet that presents a decent desktop experience?

I guess - just like with console gaming - here is yet another case of the lowest common denominator ruining a good thing for the people who care.

I hate this decade. Just about everything is worse now than 10-15 years ago.
So you don't like their theme, but were able to navigate their site.
Good talk.

I had to scroll down to see those pics. What happened to the days of people making a point without resorting to massive pics requiring scroll wheels? This makes the OP significantly less useable than it could have been and I feel my experience was limited.
I guess I have a problem with any page that renders like a mobile page on the desktop, with large touch screen type elements, flat designs, lots of useless dead space, a menu hidden behind the three bars in the corner.

Any webpage should be desktop first, and should render like a desktop page. If you then want to optimize a separate style sheet for mobile, by all means.