The world of web design has changed significantly over the years and continues to emerge as mobile-friendly design becomes more about the law rather than the exception. When it comes to choosing the right design for your website, 9series keeps in mind the number of aspects to choose along with style, typography, imagery, UI/UX, performance and online appraisement just to name a few.
Sites were created with fixed dimensions and were intended to be seen on a desktop screen only. Now there are variations based on this original idea to make room for the arrival of mobile users. Your users are demanding to view your site – not only on a computer screen – but on a tablet or a mobile phone. As a result, two popular identifications for web page design are introduced and they are responsive & adaptive design. While each of these web designs have similar features, they each have their sets of pros and cons.
Both responsive and adaptive design attempts to improve the UI/UX across variant devices, adjusting for variant resolutions, usage contexts, viewport sizes etc.
What’s the Difference?
The difference between responsive and adaptive design go towards spotlights for both website and application designers. Choosing with penetration can allow you to plan and execute your designs with better aim, purpose and results.
Responsive is liquefied and meets the extent of the screen no matter what the target device is. Responsive website developers uses CSS media queries to change styles based on the target device such as display width, height, type etc., and only one of these is necessary for the site to fit to variant screens.
Adaptive uses fixed design based on breakpoints which don’t respond once they’re at first loaded. Adaptive works to catch up the screen size and load the appropriate design for it – generally you would design an adaptive website for six common screen widths: 320,480,760,960,1200 & 1600. it appears that adaptive needs more work as you have to design for a minimum of six widths. However, responsive can be more complicated as the unsuitable use of media queries (or surely not applying them at all) can make for display and performance issues.
Adaptive design is more like the latest implication of progressive enhancement. Instead of one flexible design, adaptive design detects the device and other features, and then provides the appropriate feature and design based on a predefined set of viewport sizes and other attributes.
Why Use Adaptive?
Adaptive is beneficial for retrofitting an existing site in order to make it more mobile friendly. This confirms you to take charge of the design and development for particular, multiple viewports. Generally, you would begin by designing for a low-resolution viewport and work your way up to make sure that the design doesn’t become unsound by the content.
As specified already, it’s a standard design for six resolutions. However, you can make a more informed decision by viewing at your web analytics for the most generally used devices and then designing for those viewports.
If you want to design an adaptive site from scratch, then that is OK as well. Start again by designing for the lowest resolution and work your move upwards. You can then use media queries to expand the design for higher resolution viewports. However, if you prepare a design for multiple resolutions, you may find that this causes the design to ‘jump’ when resizing a window.
It can be an additional work designing and developing a site with adaptive for multiple viewports so it’s usually used for retrofitting.
Pros & Cons. Adaptive:
Responsive design works on the principle of Elasticity of demand – a single fluid website that can look good on any device. Responsive websites use media queries, flexible grids, and responsive images to create a UI/UX that flexes and changes based on a bunch of factors.
Why Use Responsive?
The majority of new websites now use responsive, which has been made simpler for shorter experienced designers and developers, thanks to the availability of themes that are accessible through CMS systems such as WordPress, Joomla and Drupal.
Many times responsive web design doesn’t offer as much control as adaptive, but takes much less work to both build & maintain. Responsive website developers have their designs also in fluid and whilst adaptive can and does use percentage to give a more fluid feel when scaling, these can again cause a jump when a window is resized. For example, in the image below, which shows a fluid design, the designer is using percentage widths so that the view will be adjusted for each user.
Pros & Cons. Responsive:
Sometimes simple terms can represent complicated concepts, so let’s try not to get confused. There are no shortcuts to whichever web design technique you decide to use both require work that comes with creating a site that’s fundamentally one-size-fits-all. It could solicit that Responsive doesn’t give the designer as much control as Adaptive, but generally requires less rework to both build, sustain and modify as needed.
If neither of these sound right for you or you would ideally combine these two methods: why not try Re-adaptive web design! Whatever you decide, consider incorporating it into the early stages of the design process, for example, the prototyping stage, so that you can really test it out before making the final end product.