Unfortunately the term “responsive” has become a buzzword that means something different depending who is saying it. In its original use it referred to websites that had a fluid layout that “squished” nicely when the browser window became narrow. This is achieved with a CSS technique called a media query. It allows websites to have different styles depending on screen size. In this rudimentary definition responsive is not suitable for modern day mobile sites that require SEO, transactions and wide device support. The use of responsive has developed to include adaptive javascript and server side adaptive solutions. An adaptive site overcomes issues such as downloading large images to mobile which will then be resized on the device, or downloading content which will simply be hidden or is not supported at all such a ‘browse’ button or Flash.

Advanced adaptive is “beyond squishy” and delivers an optimised mobile experience which when done properly can increase candidate conversion to job application over its basic ancestor.

Google suggest most sites viewed on mobile are 10 times slower than they expect them to be. Given that the most common method to support mobile is responsive web design it is fair to conclude that most are not using the advanced optimal techniques.

Responsive is not always the best approach, it has a one size fits all approach which may not deliver maximum application conversion. One size fits all is great if we assume the problem is the same in all situations.

Mobile web browsing is a different behaviour to that found on the desktop. The candidate is “snacking” on content and they are frequently drilling down on social media posts. The mobile job seeker emotions are often very different, the mobile web is immediately available as they feel down trodden on the commute home or in many cases they are half watching TV and half jobseeking. It is important the experience fits the media and how it is consumed. This is not always achievable via responsive.




AuthorDave Martin