Responsive Web Design (RWD) is the paradigm for front-end web design in 2013. From a technical perspective, RWD is the combination of using fluid grid layout, flexible width images, and media queries. Philosophically, RWD is the coalescing of the philosophies of web accessibility, the semantic web, progressive enhancement, and graceful degradation.
The goal of RWD is to make web pages accessible to the broadest audience of users, which in 2013 is smartphones. We do this by focusing on the mobile experience first, and progressively enhancing for larger viewport widths.
In this video, Scott Reynolds of @thrise introduces responsive web design, and covers the 5W’s.