I had accepted the task of building a client a website. She had the requirement “it had to scale to mobile devices”. Not even that, but I’m assuming her screen size she viewed the site on is a little bit smaller than mine and she’s dissatisfied because the page displays “incorrectly” for her. For example the horizontal navigation bar takes up two lines and text isn’t flushed the way she wants it; but all of this works on my computer.
How are such problems avoided or resolved? Is it that it’s not possible to develop a website with a specific target platform? How specific does it need to be, for example I coded it on using a 24” monitor but my friend’s laptop is 13.3” and the website’s busted?
Are there any links to articles that could explain to a non-technical person it's not trivial just to say "make the website display the same on all devices"? Also how do you articulate the question to the client that it doesn't make sense to say "display the same" as having 10 links on a navigation bar on a large screen is usable but squishing 10 links into a smartphone screen is stupid.
UPDATE: looking back on this, it would have really helped if we had met at least once in person as in my experience UX design requirements is really hard to do only by email.