Unfortunately traditional website design techniques and technologies produce sites that don’t fit well with the different screen sizes used in these new devices.
A short term solution has been to produce a separate mobile website, meaning that two websites have to be produced and maintained ... and often paid for. This solution has given a “quick fix” but the concern has always been how to then build a website for the next type of device that comes along.
So the industry has been focussed on creating a long-term solution. This solution is known as “responsive design”. With responsive design websites automatically adjust to the device they're being viewed on, so there is no need to serve up a separate mobile website and all of the content remains viewable, resulting in a better experience for users ... whatever device they are viewing it on.
One of the keys to responsive design is future proofing. As manufacturers develop new phones, tablets and Smart TVs it’s simply impossible for the approach of using a separate mobile website to keep pace. But with a responsively designed website, there is only one version that simply resizes and adapts to fit whatever device ... so the issue of the increasing range of devices is solved.
So why aren’t all sites responsive then? Well, it’s going to take some time for businesses to redevelop their websites to work responsively. Also the concepts and technologies behind responsive design are still relatively new. It’s not a simple transition to responsive design for the web developer, this new approach adds layers of complexity on to traditional techniques. However, there are some interesting (high profile) early adopters and a few are listed below:
The Government has even won a prestigious design award for its new responsive site, for being “well thought out, yet understated design”.