Martin Ridgeway over at Perficient recently wrote an article regarding Responsive web design and the hype surrounding it. Responsive web design is a tool made possible by CSS3 and the ability to perform @media queries, to get out of the technical side and to state simply, this allows developers to design their websites or applications using one iteration that will be easily viewable on any screen. Perfect examples would include Sony.com and microsoft.com, if you notice when you shrink your screen size the site changes based on the screen resolution.
Responsive is becoming increasingly popular now that Mobile First design is a starting point for all designers. To see the massive call for responsive development one simply needs to Google “web trends,” or “web trends 2013” to see that every site, article, blog, or essay mentions responsive as it’s number 1. To that effect, the most popular website design platform, WordPress, which offers novice web designers the ability to “theme” their sites for quick development, has moved to responsive. Nearly all new WordPress themes come bearing the mark, responsive, on their download sites.
The alternative to responsive design would be an m.site that redirects a user to a specifically designed mobile page. m.sites are still very much in use, but a great article on their downfall can be seen over at Mobify.
This leads us to the very topic of this article, is responsive web design(RWD) a fad or the next great way to develop for mobile? A few years ago, m. was the only way to go, and now we see that being replaced by more and more RWD. With internet standards changing rapidly and we are already on the horizon of CSS4, will a new technology turn RWD into the outdated m.?
With web standards changing and more and more users accessing the web with multiple devices it seems that responsive development is the next logical step in creating rich content on the web. We may not see the same responsive design types that first made an appearance in 2010, but some form of RWD will continue to exist throughout the Internet.