Ever since the debut of the first-generation iPhone in 2007, mobile devices have become more convenient in everyday use. About 2.5 billion people are now using smartphones to accomplish most of their day-to-day activities and this includes browsing websites.
Because more users prefer to use mobile devices over larger computers, web designers have put most of their efforts into perfecting web designs for such devices. During this process, the debate over-responsive vs. adaptive web design has been a recurring one.
Although the differences are apparent, you will notice that each kind of design brings something useful to the table. In order to better understand their unique qualities, we need to look at each of these web design styles separately.
How do you choose between responsive vs. adaptive design? You can make it easier for yourself first by understanding what each one is and what it can create for your site. Let’s look at adaptive web design first and then proceed to responsive.
Adaptive web design primarily focuses on the various devices that are on the market today. These devices may range from large computers to smaller portable devices such as smartphones. With adaptive web design, your goal is to make sure your site is functional on all mainstream devices.
One of the biggest challenges of web design is getting your site to fit or adapt to any screen size. Adaptive web design uses a number of different layouts that have already been designed for different screen sizes. Everything is made ahead of time, for example, a specific layout for smartphones, computers, etc.
A good example of adaptive web design implementation is the site owned by Lufthansa airlines. You will notice that the desktop and mobile sites have been tailored to help users achieve different tasks. The desktop primarily helps users looking for sites while the mobile site is for those who have already booked their flight.
Amazon is one of the biggest retail sites today and is another good example of adaptive web design brought to life. Many users have noticed the impressive loading speeds when they access Amazon pages. This feature is very important for any website as it improves the UX and further helps the business develop.
Apple’s site is simple but impressive. This website also uses an adaptive design to help users achieve what they want when they are browsing. Because this is a retail site, navigation problems should not be associated with it. It works fine on any screen and it has made the site quite popular.
The most important goal of this design is to make the viewing experience as optimum as possible. It was developed to make sure that a website can function on any device regardless of the dimension of its screen.
In order to make this possible, web developers create a fluid grid. This is simply a design that will be able to work efficiently regardless of the size of the screen it appears on.
This UX optimization solution has made it possible for many web developers to create websites faster without having to worry about screen size.
Dropbox is one of the best examples of a responsive website that provide a great experience for users. The website also includes font color that can mimic that of the background. Images are also fluid but retain their quality.
Dribbble is what you get when you add every feature of responsive web design into one project. It has a fluid display which looks great on large as well as smaller screens when it condenses. One of the best changes made on this site was removing additional content, which made the display look tidier, especially on smaller devices.
This is another good example of a website with a design that is convenient for users on both large and small screen devices. You will notice that the content on small screens does not look cluttered and still maintains the appealing look it has on larger screens.
When we take a broad look at responsive vs. adaptive web design, we run into some similarities and differences. One thing many web developers can agree on is that these two types of web designs are both effective in improving the UX.
It is a bit far-fetched to come to a conclusion about which one is better. This usually depends on what you want to achieve with your framework and the tools you have at your disposal.
At Fireart.Studio, our team of web developers is ready to help you find an answer to your question about adaptive vs. responsive web design. We will provide you with the service of doing the work for you.