The BBC News developers have created a fascinating blog about the new trend of responsive web design and furthermore, have leaked an external prototype of the BBC News site with the concept implemented.
Responsive design is a recent ideology in web design that refers to a website responding actively to a user's presence, namely the size of the screen, platform, orientation and the type of technology their using to access the site, meaning that the requirement to design different sites for different communities is removed in the face of one site that's uniform to all devices. As Ethan Marcotte wrote, it's an idea that was transplanted from "an emergent discipline called 'responsive architecture:'" a meticulously set of technological intricacies that adhere to this concept that physical spaces respond to your being there.
As the writers of the BBC Responsive News blog write, this conforms to a 'mobile first' frame of mind, where it's not so much a question of if the time will come where mobile traffic will exceed that of the desktop; but more a question of when analogous point in time will come.
Heck, in some places, it's already overtaken:
- 55% of Twitter's traffic comes from mobile devices. (source)
- 60% of Pandora's traffic comes from mobile devices. (source)
- The Weather Channel registered 1.1 billion online page views in October and 1.3 billion page views on mobile devices. (source)
The blog makes for a series of interesting reads, and the BBC News site may still be a developer prototype, with the 'true-false' equation results as to what you're using to browse the site visible at the bottom (and some low res images on the mobile version); but it's a rather nice design if we do say so ourselves. Check them both out in the source links.