Responsive web design is a relatively new website design concept that enables websites to be viewed equally well on virtually any device – desktop, laptop, tablet, and smartphone, to name a few. Approximately 1.2 billion viewers worldwide are now accessing the web through mobile devices, according to a recent study by MobiThinking. Responsive web design provides a flexible, versatile way for designers to optimize their website designs for the rapidly-growing mobile market.

When designers first started to accommodate mobile viewers they would often create two sites – one for desktops and laptops then, if the budget allowed, one specifically for smartphones in response to the extreme difficulty site visitors had viewing desktop-optimized websites on tiny mobile screens. The major drawback to this approach was the time-consuming and costly designing, programming and maintenance of two different websites. Enter responsive web design.

Responsive web design provides easier website reading and navigation with minimal image resizing, panning, and scrolling. Websites utilizing responsive web design now incorporate something called the “fluid grid concept” that sizes page elements in relative units such as percentages instead of fixed units such as pixels or points. The fluid grid concept, for example, renders a photo as, say, 15 percent of the area within a web page, regardless of the actual page size. As a result, a web page will always scale to fit the screen image area of the device it’s being viewed on.

Responsive web design also employs CSS3 media queries to determine device characteristics and enables the web page to use different CSS style rules for optimal page display, typically the width of the browser being used on the device. This prevents elements from falling outside the display area.

Just as important (if not more so) than saving time and money with a simpler, integrated, responsive web design is the ability to better connect with your audience and potential customers. A growing number of users now access the web exclusively through a mobile device and NEVER browse on a desktop or laptop machine. In fact, the Global Mobile Workforce Report revealed that the average mobile user carries 3.5 devices!

If your current website does not utilize responsive web design you may be missing a significant chunk of your audience and market. It’s time to talk to the responsive web design experts at inConcert to find out how to improve your website for the mobile market with responsive design.

See our video explaining Responsive Design