The high demand in tablets and smartphones by the general public means that sales are expected to exceed $100 million this year (2013).
Responsive design is a new technique adopted by website design and web development companies, to address the issue of designing and developing websites for these different devices.
Responsive Design allows your website to adjust its size dynamically, to fit your tablet, Smartphone, laptop and PC. Therefore eliminating the need to develop two versions of the same site, IE: one for PC and one for mobile.
Responsive Design works in a flexible grid layout, adjusting the size of the grids to fit your device screen. Using Media Queries to serve the scalable grid and also for the convenience of styling your site on different size screens, Media queries are almost exclusively targeted at max and min widths rather than device sizes or orientations. The advantage of this is that browsers and future mobile devices that don’t map to exact set dimensions will still benefit from the styles. With four popular Responsive Design Frameworks, namely: Bootstrap, Goldilocks, Foundation and Skeleton and the right design you will have a fully functional Responsive Design website.
Responsive Design is the best way to go to ensure your site work on all the latest devices and will save time and money due to the fact that one site needs to be designed and developed and not two separate sites.
However for certain bigger sites, this would not work as they contain a huge amount of data and using Responsive Design would result in a really massive and complicated mobile version of the site, thus a really bad user experience, in terms of information overload, usability and navigation. Therefore there are cases where a slimmed-down version of the main site is designed and developed as a separate mobi site. This mobi site will therefore only contain the necessary navigation items, pages and functionality and not the entire huge site crammed into a tiny device’s screen.