Mobile broadband subscriptions have been growing at 45% over the last four years and the total number of people accessing the web over mobile devices stands at 1.1 billion. The range and type of smartphones and devices flooding the market today is overwhelming. Every other person carries a different phone or a tablet. And yet they are looking for the same seamless content flow and user experience. Media consumption patterns are changing. Content delivery strategy needs to change as well.
But this can prove to be the biggest nightmare for the developers. The need of the hour is to move beyond one device and craft beautiful designs that anticipate and respond to user needs across devices. The solution lies in Responsive design that lets you offer quality and consistency in content no matter how large (or small) their display.
Since it is not possible to design content for every device in the market, the answer lies in creating designs that are fluid, flexible, and smart; that fit any form factor and any resolution. In other words, the content should fit just about any viewport, from desktop to laptop and from tablet to smartphone. The benefits of responsive design are obvious, you build the content once and it works seamlessly across a thousand different screens. Responsive design further gauges the device capabilities and displays content best suited for that screen.
Though as a concept, responsive design has been around for a couple of years, it is only now that the phenomenon is catching up. With the exponential growth in the use of tablets & smartphones, it won’t be far off the mark to say that 2013 will be the year of Responsive Design. And when I say this, we haven’t even begun to factor in the impact of large format, smart, connected, flat screen, television sets. The Worldwide production of smart TVs is expected to reach 108 million in 2013 and will grow to 198 million in 2016 says Gartner Inc. This means that now more than ever, there is a need to create a Responsive Design approach to your content. For publishers, this is the easiest way to reach readers across multiple screens and for users; this translates into a great experience on every screen.
Having said that, there are certain limitations to responsive design, none however a big roadblock. In fact, understanding these limitations earlier on will help you move faster in your quest for delivering content that users enjoy.
Are you ready to embark on your responsive design journey? Share your thoughts in the comments section below