Lesson 1: Be iterative – somehow.
In many teams, completing tasks one after the other like it is done in the waterfall model is still everyday business. In the context of responsive web design, this is a bold idea, though. What you need here is some kind of iterative process. It does not have to be agile in perfection as taught from the books. However, you need repeated phases of trial, discussion and immediate makeover.
Lesson 2: Don’t take “agile” as an excuse to avoid making decisions.
Let’s be honest: “Agile” is a buzz word. Most people working in the context of any kind of web business have some associations with it. Sadly, many people think agile means being able to change decisions over and over again, even almost until launch. The idea of being this flexible is simply tempting, of course. However, your project still needs a distinct structure, so enforce decision making!
Lesson 3: Use screens, but not for decision making.
Screens are a great asset. Yet, they are static by nature. When designing a screen, you can arrange everything to look perfect. In responsive web design, this perfection will trap you eventually, because responsive design looks different on every device and browser. Use screens to generate ideas of look and feel, but neither for decision making nor for customer approval.
Lesson 4: Try it.
Distrust any evaluation that relies on theory only. You simple cannot make valid decisions unless you have actually tried what someone came up with. People preach about prototypes all the time – for a reason: The earlier you find your obstacles, the more likely you are to solve them without affecting the whole project.
Lesson 5: Don’t hang on to old browsers.
You want to make a fancy website with all the shiny features you can implement nowadays? Great, your website is probably going to be a lot of fun to look at. But keep in mind what is very likely to be overlooked at first: browser compatibility.
Make sure everyone involved is ready to leave older browser versions behind in order to avoid big unhappiness at the end of the project.
Lesson 6: Share your knowledge.
Many agencies keep their customers from gaining knowledge about responsive web design and agile methods, claiming a competitive advantage in doing so.
But: The more information you share, the better everyone involved understands and supports your decisions.