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Visiting websites using a mobile device is still increasing. The first quarter of 2013, more than 10 percent of the visits were done using a tablet and more than 10 percent of the visits were done using a smartphone.

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Source: Mobile Marketing Statistics 2013

Most likely, even more visits will come from mobile devices in 2014, since the number of mobile devices sold are more than three times higher than traditional PC.

Still it is possible to access non-responsive websites using a smartphone, even if the user experience isn't the best. Zooming works OK, and it's possible to focus the viewport to the text that should be read. Interaction with non-responsive websites through buttons and other inputs can also be made. It takes longer, but it works.

Could we hold on to non-responsive websites in 2014 or do we need to apply responsive design on existing websites? Do websites need to be responsive in 2014?

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Why would the arguments for 2014 be any different than for 2013. I don't see how the value of responsive websites has anything to do with the year? Or are you looking for the point where device usage makes it imperative to have a responsive website and want to know whether that's going to happen in 2014? –  Marjan Venema Dec 29 '13 at 14:15
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

We need to quit thinking "mobile friendly" and start thinking "device independent". Even mobile devices have resolutions and physical sizes once only found on desktop computers and some cannot be detected as mobile or not. You cannot point to any one width based on resolution where you can be sure it will fit most devices and, even then, that may all change multiple times in the coming year.

Yes, it takes more time to develop a site this way but it's not as horrible as some claim, and it must be done.

Responsive design is the norm for new pages now for many companies including my own web dev firm. This question no longer needs to be asked.

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I agree with your 'device independent' argument and would like to add that even though screen resolutions on some mobile devices are as large or even larger than desktop or laptop resolutions, the browser resolution on these phones are sometimes twice or four times that smaller depending on the browser they use. In what way this will change the coming years I don't know, but it's possible these browser resolutions will lead their own life independent from screen resolutions. –  Paul Dec 30 '13 at 11:39
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Agree with your first sentence and summary. There's much more to responsive design than mobile devices. –  Grant Palin Dec 31 '13 at 4:46
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Websites that aren't designed with consideration of phone/tablet use are not only more difficult to use on a phone/tablet, they will be perceived as old fashioned and not up to date when accessed on a touch device. An immediate impression will be "old technology", like when one comes across a website that uses frames, or Java, or blinking text. And as more and more websites become small device friendly, the ones that don't will seem more deficient in comparison, and the exception not the norm.

I don't think a website necessarily need be responsive but it needs to be small device friendly. Only in very special cases would I consider not making a website small device friendly.

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Nice! I didn't know the concept of "mobile friendly", but I found the article Need a Mobile-Friendly Website?, which I think is what you mean. –  Benny Skogberg Dec 29 '13 at 9:59
    
@BennySkogberg - well I use the term "mobile friendly" and "small device friendly" because (I consider) "responsive design" to a kind of small device friendly technique. Serving a different page to different devices is also a kind of small device friendly technique, and there will probably be other solutions invented in the future. –  obelia Dec 29 '13 at 20:09
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