I’m goin’ home
And when I wanna go home
I’m goin’ mobile
Well, I’m gonna find a home
And we’ll see how it feels
Goin’ mobile
Keep me movin’

– Goin’ Mobile, The Who

The Mobile Web

While The Who’s mobile was the freedom of the open road, the mobile web allows one the freedom of not being chained to your desk to access the internet. The usage of smartphone and tablets – or screens you can take with you – is most definitely on the upswing. Bloggers need to keep in mind that their audience isn’t necessarily viewing their sites solely behind a computer any longer.

Why Mobile?

We found some fascinating stats and trends for mobile. Here are our top 10 findings:

  1. 91% of American adults own a cell phone. (Source: Pew Research Center, September 2013 Update)
  2. 56% of American adults have a smartphone. (Source: Pew Research Center, September 2013 Update)
  3. 29% of Americans say their phone is the first and last thing they look at every day. (Source: Qualcomm and Time, Mobility Poll)
  4. 34% of American adults own a tablet computer (Source: Pew Research Center, September 2013 Update)
  5. Mobile Internet traffic has grown from 1% in 2009 to 15% in 2013. People are increasingly choosing to surf the web, not with a laptop or desktop, but via their smartphones or tablets, or both. (Source: Salesforce, 15 Mobile Trends Happening Now)
  6. By 2016, US mobile users will increase from 174 million to 265 million. (Source: IDC, Worldwide New Media Market Model 2012)
  7. Smartphone use in the US is growing 28% year-over-year. (Source: KPCB, Internet Trends 2013)
  8. Gartner predicts mobile device sales will grow to reach 1.9 billion units in 2013. Smartphone sales are expected to hit 1 billion units in 2013, which means that for the first time smartphones will outsell feature phones. (Source: Gartner, February 2013)
  9. More than 29% of US adults now own a tablet or eReader, up from just 2% in 2009. (Source: KPCB, 2012 Internet Trends Year End Update).
  10. 140 million iPad units shipped in the first 12 quarters after launch, compared to 50 million iPhones in its first 12 quarters after launch. (Source: KPCB, Internet Trends 2013)

Responsive Web Design

In, ahem, response to mobile web viewing, the concept of responsive web design has also emerged. Ethan Marcotte first coined the term Responsive Web Design (RWD) in his article in A List Apart in 2010. Later, .net Magazine chose Responsive Design as #2 on its list of Top Web Design Trends for 2012.

According to Wikipedia, Responsive Web Design (RWD) essentially indicates that a website uses the following elements:

  • fluid proportion-based grids (which use percentages and EMs instead of pixels) to adapt the layout to the viewing environment
  • flexible images
  • CSS3 media queries

As a result, users across a broad range of devices and browsers will have access to a single source of content, laid out so as to be easy to read and navigate with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling. Responsive design then bridges the gaps between the sheer volume of hardware offerings and capabilities.

Responsive Design Tools

Designers can check out these excellent resources for learning more about responsive design:

Tools to Help You Go Mobile

So you are not ready jump into responsive design, but you still want to help your mobile audience view your site. Here are our favorite tools to help you do that: