The Problems with Responsive Images

ResponsiveImages_orgResponsive Images (new tags and attributes to display images that “adapt” to the browser) has been in the wild for a while. Is it what we hoped for? IMHO it is a think you pull up if you really really have to. Here is why:

  • You still need polyfills.
  • You have to look up the syntax every time you want to use it.
  • Takes too long time to test/difficult to automate tests.
  • Issues addressed by Responsive Images are considered to be “outliers” and “border cases” by the developer.
  • Cost vs. benefit analysis does not make sense for most developers.
  • Deciding breakpoints/image sizes/image formats is completely guesswork and will most likely be wrong (definitely changing over time). Hence, a good ol’ img tag will be just as bad/good as Responsive Images.
  • It’s interfering with the editorial CMS workflow and implementation.

– Maybe this will change over time and <picture>, sizes and srcset will get their renaissance

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