Access and Feeds

Mobile and Web Computing: Responsive Web Design

By Dick Weisinger

Increasingly businesses are moving to the use of Responsive Web Design (RWD or RD — just Responsive Design) in the rollout of their mobile and traditional web sites.  For example, RWD sites have been rolled out by the Boston Globe,  the Guardian,,

In January, Forrester looked at the adoption and usage by mobile developers of ‘Responsive Web Design’ (RWD) techniques.   The goal of RWD is to provide an optimal viewing experience for web pages across a wide range of devices, from small screens on smartphones to large desktop monitors.  The page should be easy to read and navigate, and resizing, panning and scrolling of the page should be intuitive and work as expected.

  • While the focus of RWD is on the front-end user interface experience, the Forrester report in their survey of developers, actually found that 70 percent of the effort in RWD development is spent on the back-end, reworking middleware, APIs, database interactions, and infrastructure.
  • RWD techniques let developers leverage the use of assets across both mobile and standard web sites, improve performance, and take advantage of mobile-specific features.
  • Developers found that while the use of RWD frameworks Foundation and Bootstrap helped them to complete their projects on time, often the projects lacked the full-functionality that was envisioned in the original design.
  • 60 percent of developers thought that current RWD frameworks are sufficient for today’s web sites but that these frameworks would need to considerably evolve or be replaced by newer technologies to meet not-too-future needs.

Jeffrey Hammond, principal analyst for Forrester Research, said that “tactical approaches [to mobility] are no longer sustainable, especially as more strategic methodologies like responsive delivery emerge that can underpin a comprehensive enterprise-weight delivery of mobile experiences.  There’s considerable value in pre-existing business logic from your company’s traditional website (and other existing systems). It’s already tested and secured, and it can be opened up to the mobile channel. Avoid duplicating these existing assets, as creating them can add up to more than 70% of the cost of delivering a new mobile experience.”

DotComInfoway condensed the benefits of Responsive Web Design techniques into the following infographic:

Dot Com Infoway – Software and Mobile Application Development Company

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