Trends in Internet-Enabled Devices
The types of hardware people are using to view web pages is changing. Sales of desktop computers are slowly declining while sales of
mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets are rising rapidly. For the first time ever, more people will view
websites from hand-held devices than those from desktop and laptop computers.
Unless you want to alienate a vast proportion of your website visitors, you should create a website that
displays equally well on all devices - no matter what the screen size. There's no need to create separate websites
for each device. You can do this if you really want but a better approach is to create one site with a responsive design.
This changing trend towards increased mobile usage has the knock-on effect that more people are viewing websites over
3G, 4G and WiFi connections which are slower than home broadband connections. This means websites viewed on mobile devices should be
optimised to load quickly on mobile networks.
Responsive Website Design
Websites with responsive layouts have fluid design structures enabling their layouts to automatically display differently according to the
size of the screen it is being viewed on.
Typically this means when viewed on a smartphone, the website will contain the bare-essential
elements arranged for optimum viewing usability and when viewed on a larger screen, the elements on the website will be re-arranged to fit that screen
to fill up the large screen space and more elements may be added. This is known as progressive enhancement..
For example on a smartphone the sites links may be displayed as a small drop-down list which can be tapped with a finger
yet the same website when viewed on a laptop displays the site links spread out along the top of the page, making use of the large screen space.