Responsive web design is design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal experience across a wide range of devices including Desktop Computers, Tablets and Smartphones. These devices vary quite widely in key areas such as screen size resolution. Some elements that should be considered in website that implement responsive design techniques include:
- Text is easy to read.
- Images and other rich media are clearly visible.
- Navigation menus, buttons and other interface elements are sufficiently sized and designed to allow for easy, intuitive interaction.
- Interactions leverage native technologies such as touch (tap, pinch, swipe etc.) wherever possible.
Ensuring these elements work as expected is a time consuming and exacting process. This imposes around 30% extra time, effort and expense to implement. However, it ensures that you are able to serve a significant and increasingly large percentage of your users who are on mobile devices.
Responsive websites are typically a superior solution to alternatives such as custom mobile sites. Primarily because you typically need to manage only one set of content (as opposed to managing content for each instance of a device type you want to support).