Responsive design is an approach to web page creation that makes use of flexible layouts, flexible images and cascading style sheet media queries. The goal of responsive design is to build web pages that detect the visitor's screen size and orientation and change the layout accordingly.
Typically there have been four general screen sizes that responsive design has been aimed at: the wide screen desktop monitor, the smaller desktop (or laptop), the tablet and the mobile phone
The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to iPad, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities. In other words, the website should have the technology to automatically respond to the user’s preferences. This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market.
Currently, more than 58% of American adults own a smart phone and almost 60% of all website traffic is from mobile devices. In fact, there are currently more mobile devices on earth then their are people. And every month mobile usage continues to grow, so every month more and more prospects and customers will view your website from a mobile device. If their experience viewing and interacting with your site is poor, they'll likely have a lower option of your brand, and they'll also be more likely to visit a competitor's site.
Online shopping is easier than hopping in the car and driving to the store and it is even easier if you can do it in your favorite chair, while watching TV. 80% of consumers regularly use their smart phones to shop online. And 70% of shoppers now use mobile phones while in stores during the holidays. If your products and services aren't easy to view from a phone, you're missing out on an opportunity.
Over 55% of social media consumption now happens on mobile devices, so sharing links from social media sites like, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or Google Plus to your website will mean even more traffic and viewing of your website from mobile devices. So if you have a social marketing strategy and want to leverage social sharing of content, get responsive.
Responsive development is Google's recommended approach for mobile web design. Per Google, responsive websites will perform better in search rankings because they provide a better user experience than sites that are not mobile friendly. Additionally. If you think search optimization (SEO) is important, than your site better be responsive
Want your web design to look great, no matter the device or screen size? Then responsive web design is the way to go. But don't just think about today with smart phones and tablets. Think about tomorrow with smart watches, and Google Glass, and whatever new devices pops up for Internet viewing. Responsive web design and development will work for them too.
There are plenty of business reasons to implement a responsive website, but they all connect back to the goal of providing a better user experience for your audience. A responsive site means no more pinching and zooming, and no more side scrolling, to see an entire site that doesn't fit on a mobile screen. And a better user experience reduces bounce rates, boosts website conversions and improves brand perception