Tablets are big among adult consumers in the U.S. This has created some pretty notable changes in the traffic patterns seen by most sites. Big players like The Huffington Post and Mashable are projecting that by the end of this year almost 50% of their traffic will be mobile. On one hand, this shift in consumer behavior has handed websites a huge opportunity by creating a ton of new screens on which users can view their content. On the other hand, reaching this ripe new demographic has its own special challenges.
According to The Pew Research Center, Apple’s hold on the tablet market has slipped from 81% of tablet users to 51%. This can be seen as a victory in free market principles, but it also means that websites are having to think of ways to make their content available across multiple platforms and interfaces. Creating a mobile app for each platform is doable, but it might not be the most efficient method for engaging consumers. This has lead to a rise in sites using Responsive Web Design, which allows sites to look good across multiple devices by having the layout grounded in a flexible proportion-based design scheme.
Infographic courtesy of Who Is Hosting This?
People in the know have named 2013 as the “Year of Responsive Design” and when you think about its utility and potential, it’s clear to see why. The Pew Research Center found that 60% of tablet owners preferred accessing news sites using their devices’ mobile web browser instead of using the site’s app. Keeping this in mind, it would not be surprising if that number grew (and not just for news sites) with the rise of sites using responsive design.