The about.com is a great example of website that renders perfectly on all devices
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." Steve Jobs
“Rather than tailoring disconnected designs to each of an ever-increasing number of web devices, we can treat them as facets of the same experience. We can design for an optimal viewing experience, but embed standards-based technologies into our designs to make them not only more flexible, but more adaptive to the media that renders them.” Ethan Marcotte
We are moving into the post PC era as more and more people migrate to smart phones and tablets as their preferred medium to access the internet. Web designers are facing increasing challenges to develop solutions that are viewable on all platforms. We have seen a proliferation of apps and mobile web sites but is this answer? Responsive web design using flexible fluid grid based layouts, flexible images and media queries are a design solution that many web designers are adopting.
By creating a flexible layout with fluid grids the responsive website changes in accordance with the browser and resizes and repositions the content. The images are flexible and can be dynamically cropped or resized on the fly. By using media queries and a collection of style sheets in different widths multiple layouts can be achieved in CSS3 .Parameters can be set so content appears according to the device that is accessing it.
What must to be considered is the goals you want to achieve from your mobile offering, the costs involved of developing and application, a dedicated mobile site or a responsive web site. Consumers on the move have a completely different mind-set from PC users and are more action orientated; they want the relevant information delivered instantly and ease and speed of use is paramount. A mobile application is likely to have advanced features that a simple mobile website cannot deliver. A QR Code reader can be built into the app to facilitate the scanning of QR Codes to link directly to relevant content or the exact information the user is looking for is an example.
For those who are developing a new website a responsive website should be considered as the advantages are plain to comprehend. If you are using QR Codes in your marketing mix a simple mobile website with strong calls to action may be a more cost effective option.