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I consider myself to be pretty open-minded, especially when it comes to technology, but in both of these cases, I was being a bit narrow-minded and I think it is important to be willing to admit when you are wrong.
Let me explain a bit further.
Onto responsive design
I actually had a very enlightening conversation with a gentleman on Twitter, who really helped me take a second look at responsive design and why it was more useful than I thought.
One of the biggest ways that he shifted my thinking about responsive design was by helping me to realize that it isn’t just PC, mobile phone, tablet, but that there were all kinds of forms factors and kinds of devices that a web page should look good and function well on today.
It also seems that right after I had written that article that I ended up having to use my phone for doing web based things much more than I had before then. I quickly became frustrated with websites that did not implement some kind of responsive design and found myself smiling when I happened upon a website that was mobile friendly and altered the UI to make it much easier to use on a phone.
When I thought about it more, it turned out that I was responding instinctively to the fad of responsive design, but not realizing the actual value that was there. I probably have a tendency to backlash hard against technology trends that seem to be fads or trendy. Sometimes, I do get a bit overzealous in doing so and don’t realize that even though many people are ignorantly worshipping some new technology or trend, there are many others who are wearing the latest techno-fashion, because it really is good and useful.
By the way, I found this book, to be a good resource for learning about responsive web design, if you are looking to get a bit more understanding of it.
I still don’t think it is healthy or smart to jump all into responsive design without a good reason for doing so or having a good understanding of the value it will bring. (Responsive design is not for everyone.) But, I do think responsive design is a good solution and should be implemented in many more cases than what I had originally thought. I can see a large amount of value in making an existing site responsive, because it can attract more business and make it easier for existing customers to give you money or use your product.
I even find myself wishing that my website was more responsive. This blog has a default mobile theme, but I am wondering how much mobile traffic I am losing out on, or how many opportunities to convert that traffic to customers to one of my products I am also missing out on, because I am not presenting the information on this blog in the best way I can for a smaller device.
A good lesson
It turns out being wrong about these two technologies was a good lesson for me, because it helped me realize that even though I like to think that I have eliminated most of my technology biases, there are still plenty that exist.
One of the key things that I’ve always said about this blog is that I am not going to stop from saying something because I am not 100% sure of what I am saying. What I mean by this is that I will give my view to the best of my knowledge, but that view is subject to revision. There really is no need to hold onto a viewpoint that is wrong, once you realize it is wrong and it is ok to be wrong sometimes. We all have to be willing to grow and learn along our journey. If we want to be able to improve, we have to be willing to allow ourselves to be wrong and to be ok with that.
There are so many posts that I have written for this blog that I wouldn’t agree with 100% today and that is because my knowledge and experience is changing. I really wouldn’t want it any other way. If I agree 100% with what I wrote about last year or the year before, I would be 100% the same person I was back then, so I wouldn’t be growing and improving. I’d rather be wrong sometimes and grow than think I am right all the time and stagnate.