We are planning on applying a responsive design to our current homepage. That is, using minimal changes to markup, we will update the stylesheet to use flexible layout and media queries.
However the question is – is it actually a better user experience to navigate a linear mobile page design, rather than existing full width design that requires the user to zoom/scroll to see all the content?
We intend on doing a usability review to answer this question.
However can anybody else point me in the direction of some user experience data that attempts to answer the same question?
I think the purpose of a responsive design is to be intentional about the decision --- i.e. you (or the designer) being intentional about what s/he thinks works best for the user based on the device's screen size.
As a poor Blackberry user, I am frustrated every time Google News points me to a mobile-unfriendly page. I don't mind the article's ads so much as I do the fact their placement assumes a non-mobile device (and the fact a short article is a 1M footprint to download).
In other words, your usability testing would need to be at every size range set up by your media queries (i.e. you're testing the many designs, not the one design). then you'll probably want to reorder page content such that the CSS updated by the media queries are most easily executed in all sizes.