A Closer Look at Responsive Web Design (RWD)

Web Design in Fort Lauderdale, FL

Responsive Web Design. What is it?

Responsive Web DesignResponsive web design (RWD) is an approach to web design aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing and interaction experience — easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).

RWD, and mobile optimization, have become so important on the web that, as of April 2015, Google updated their ever-changing search algorithm to give added importance, and search ranking, for the implementation of mobile-centric design of websites. If your site is not mobile-friendly you are at a disadvantage.

Responsive Web Design. Why do you need it?

According to the September 2014 issue of Website Magazine, “To have any hope at succeeding in the mobile ecommerce market brands must have a mobile optimized site that not only works flawlessly but is also aesthetically pleasing.”

Here are some impressive numbers that illustrate why you need responsive web design to improve mobile user experience on your website and to reach today’s consumer base.

  • Tablet ownership in U.S. is expected to reach 112.5 million by 2016 (FR)
  • Mobile commerce is set to reach $86 billion by 2016 (eM)
  • This year (2014) the number of mobile devices (smartphones & tablets) in circulation will outnumber the total world population, 7.7 billion vs. 7.1 billion (PS)
  • Mobile has hit the tipping point as 58% of Americans now own a smartphone and 42% own a tablet (PR)
  • The average US adult spends 141 minutes a day using mobile devices (AdA), and looks at their phone 110 times a day as well as up to every 6 seconds in the evening (DM)
  • In 2013 there were 1.6 billion smartphone users across the world, which makes up 22% of the global population (huge userbase with massive growth potential) (KPCB)
    • Compare this number with desktop PC users (743 million, 10%) and you can see why mobile development is so important
    • In the short time that smartphones have gained traction, they have already outgrown the laptop and desktop userbase (22% vs. 21%), and this trend will only continue
  • In North America mobile usage (smartphones & tablets) is quickly outpacing traditional computing at alarming rates (KPCB)
    • Mobile usage grew from 11% to 19%, from May 2013 to May 2014
    • That equates to 570 million mobile users in North America by May 2014
  • In 2013 global smartphone & tablet usage was at 28% with desktop & laptop usage at 21%, with mobile usage growing 11%, from 14% to 25%, between May 2013 and May 2014 (KPCB)
    • That equates to 1.75 billion mobile users worldwide in May 2014
  • Mobile Internet access in developed countries as a whole rose to 56% in June 2012, up from just 23.1% in 2009 (OECD)


  • FR: Forrester Research (2014)
  • PS: PennyStockslab (2014)
  • PR: Pew Research (2014)
  • eM: eMarketer (2014)
  • DM: Daily Mail (2013)
  • AA: Advertising Age Mobile Fact Pack (2013)
  • KPCB: Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (2014)
  • OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2013)

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