Responsive design is seen as a method or technique for reflowing content so that it fits the screen. But there’s more to it than that.
My favorite example of this in Qlik Sense is the responsive charts. We don’t ask the person building the chart to make multiple versions to display at different screen sizes and resolutions. You create it once, keeping the focus on the content and usefulness rather than the artifact and distribution. Qlik Sense adapts the content and renders the chart in the best way to suit the available space, retaining the chart’s meaning and integrity. If it’s a small space we show hints and a suggestion of the shape, reducing the noise and erroneous parts so that the information sent is as strong as possible. When viewing these small charts it’s all about information foraging and spotting that indicator that says “look here, this is interesting”. Give the chart more “space” and more is revealed. The same key content is there but you see progressively more detail, enriching the chart with more information and tools for taking your inquiry further. This helps the chart be meaningful across a wider range of contexts and uses, without the creator needing to think about them all up front. It enables content created in Qlik Sense to move seamlessly through an organization and reach the people at the edges not just the ones whose desktop system is the same as the content creator’s.
It’s ultimately about getting the most value from a thing by realizing its maximum utility. Delivering usefulness and value to the most people whenever and wherever they are. And it’s all thanks to a shift away from thinking about the artifact to instead concentrating on the people using it.