Now a requirement not an option!
Web design has always been a fast paced medium constantly changing as technology evolves. In the last couple of years we have seen this process quicken as tablets and smart phone flood onto the market. Initially designers focused on building separate mobile sites but as screen sizes expanded this quickly became impractical.
In response developers switched to a responsive approach where websites became flexible, adjusting to fit the screen they were being viewed on. Instead of having to pinch and zoom images and content blocks stacked neatly allowing users to easily scroll through the content.
In our opinion responsive web design is fast changing from being a luxury to a necessity. It would be easy to sit back and think it that its just another fad, its not something that affects me, but the figures make startling reading.
One of our client's websites receives approximately 5,000 visits a month. Their analytics show in July 2011 10.1% of their traffic was from mobile devices, this rose to 23.2% in July 2012 and in July this year the figure was 36.5%.
These are figures we can see replicated across our client base; we even have one client whose traffic from mobile devices peaked at 45.3%.
It would be commercial suicide if we as designers and website owners did not cater directly for those users that preferred to use mobile devices to access the Internet.
There are not many certainties in life but one thing I think we can count on is that these figures are only going to increase as the cost of mobile devices comes down.