Responsive Web Design Trends  

  • What is Resposive Web Design about anyway?
  • What's trendy in web design? Are there alternatives to RWD?
  • Why does RWD matter? Is it nice to have or business-critical?
  • How do responsive pages look like on desktops and phones?

Google recommends webmasters follow the industry best practice of using responsive web design, namely serving the same HTML for all devices and using only CSS media queries to decide the rendering on each device.

A generic square placeholder image with rounded corners in a figure.
By Stéphanie Walter CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What is Resposive Web Design about anyway?

The term responsive web design (RWD) was coined by Ethan Marcotte in his meanwhile famous article in A List Apart in 2010, in which he expected "mobile browsing to outpace desktop-based access within three to five years." And he was right: in 2014 mobile took over fixed Internet access (he followed an earlier prediction by Mary Meeker).

By coupling insightful design patterns to common-sense principles, Luke's Mobile First is the beginning of a quiet revolution, its title the rallying cry that should be on the lips of every web designer.

Ethan Marcotte in a Testmonial on "Mobile First" by Luke Wroblewski (2011)

In a nutshell, RWD is about creating fluid content that adapts to any device or screen size. So what is responsive web design? It's responding to the device and to the browser window of the device.

There's even more "response" possible, for instance, while you minimize your browser window (on a desktop? Try with this page):

  • Longer text paragraphs suddenly disappear, shorter descriptions pop up instead
  • Images adapt to the window size, reorder or transition into full screen
  • The layout changes, for instance three columns to two columns

All you need to know about RWD in 60 seconds: start this video tutorial

What's trendy in web design? Are there alternatives to RWD?

What publishing formats matter most?

There are lots of ways to publish content on the web. Additional to web sites, web apps arose plus native apps. Web apps are kind of hybrid between mobile-friendly web sites and "native" apps live on the user's phone.

  • Search trend for web sites descreases, in accordance with the decrease site builder search (see trends graph above)
  • Web apps as an alternative to web sites go up (albeit slower than the hype for mobile apps
  • The increased interest in landing pages reflects a trend in SEO to add landing pages (off-site SEO) to (on-site) optimization.

Comparing classical, old-school formats

Web sites vs. blogs: even though the importance of websites is decreasing both due to saturation and to apps etc., the web site or home page of a publisher remains the primary publishing channel.

In contrast, good old blogs decrease significantly. Both sites and blogs are publishing tools. Blogs, however, have always sharing tools as well - and for sharing there is much competition from micro blogging and social media in general. This may account for the stronger decrease of blogs.

Why does RWD matter? Is it nice to have or business-critical?

How do responsive pages look like on desktops and phones?

How to promote web sites effectivly?

Search trends for marketing channels reflect what people think will be effective to get the word out.

  • Facebook is leading, but decreasing 20-25% over past five years
  • Social Media slightly increases (again since initial hype, followed by disenchantment) since 2013.
  • Twitter marketing could hold its ground despite massive competition for microblogging and sharing.
  • Content markting shows a massive increase

Conclusion: thought-of new and trendy marketing channels , good old content marketing is continually soaring. It should be mentioned that modern content marketing includes social media. In summary, though, there is an ever increasing interest in content marketing as the Internet grows. Plus, taking above blog vs. website comprism in account, content marketing seems to be more related to sites then to sharing tools.

Mobile First

Bootstrap and other specilized frameworks

The disadvantages of Single Page Applications
"Javascript is never going to beat the browser at what it does best - browsing. You can still have beautifully rich, enhanced experiences without cramming an entire site into one document."
Why Responsive Design Support is the Most Important Feature You Can Add To Your Website
Most importantly: Having one website to manage and one place to manage that site from will make it easier to keep the site updated.
The Importance of Responsive Design for New Websites
One of the best ways to reach your customers and show them you care is by redesigning your site using responsive web design. Responsive web pages automatically adjust themselves to any screen size and reorder content based on the device. Responsive design is about enhancing the users' experience by anticipating their needs.
8 reasons to have a responsive web design
1. Mobile usage is on the rise 2. Shopping on mobile devices is steadily growing 3. Social media increases mobile visitors 4. Improving SEO rankings 5. Adapting to multiple devices sizes 6. One site is easier to manage 7. Better user experience