I get it that English isn’t understood much (or even spoken at all) in the Taiwanese culture. Acronyms are probably easier for Taiwanese to say when referring to something that’s trending in the Western world.

But hey, why confuse the hell out of everyone? Oh wait. Because if you don’t know, it means it’s probably really good. And if it’s probably really good, it’ll definitely sell.

RWD

Rear Wheel Drive? Oh yeah, I love them. You can do really nice drift with it.

A Taiwanese computer engineer actually complimented my “RWD” when he looked at a website I redesigned for the city hall. Let’s call him Joe. Since Joe was the original developer who made the website, he knew I was up for real competition when he saw my RWD.

But wait. My car? I was like… “What are you talking about? R-W-D?”

He responded with some gibberish in Chinese that I have no clue what it meant at all.

I stared back at him confused, and feeling stupid. I thought I was supposed to know all the technical terms since I got ballsy and completely changed his original website.

Joe then looked annoyed, wondering “who the fuck this kid was thinking he could just step in and dismantle his work”. Not to bash or anything, but he’s quite an arrogant guy. After a dreadful pause, he finally explained, “You know how when you resize the window, the things change? You can view it on mobile phones…”

Oh man, when I heard that my head was clicking all over the place. He meant responsive web design! You’ve got to be kidding me. I never heard that term used at all.

I’ve always referred to it as “responsive”.

It’s funny how if you Google search “RWD”, you either get “RWD is also abbreviated for rear-wheel drive” and car related websites, or “responsive web design” spelled out fully.

Welcome to the other side of the world. Life is full of surprises.

But the point is…

Responsive web design should be a given in any website built today. It shouldn’t be a big deal if a website is already responsive. It’s good for the user experience and it looks beautiful. It should be a total shock if a website isn’t already responsive.

What I’m getting at is this: The design of the website I recreated was clearly more contemporary and slick compared to the website Joe made, which looked 1997. Instead of complimenting the nice design, he only noticed the responsive feature.

Why? Because designs don’t matter! Technology and features come first. If there’s design, great. If there isn’t, not a deal breaker. Because it works, why bother on the appearance?

I was just browsing a website of Taiwanese web design agency. You know what they advertised on their menu?

Notice that label “RWD 網站設計”. Translated from Chinese “RWD Website Design”.

Responsive website is such a big deal that it warrants a separate category to inform the clients that they actually make their websites responsive. So does that mean, there’s also an option to design a website that’s not responsive?

Hell no. If you are going to build a website that’s not responsive, then you shouldn’t be in the web design business at all. It’s like creating a tablet that has no touchscreen capability. It’s a given, ya know what I’m saying?

In other words, it makes me think that the clients are drawn towards the jargon and the technology when choosing a web design service, as opposed to great looking designs that also create a good user experience. It’d be much better if “RWD Website Design” read “User Experience Design” instead. And include information on responsive web design in the UX page.

That’s why I’m telling you, the current status of Taiwanese web design is still a P.O.S.