Responsive Design Vs Adaptive Design
Both Adaptive and Responsive can prepare your website for mobile use, but in very different ways that it’s important to understand. Which one is best suited to your site needs, budgets, and goals? Will you need to switch over at some point? What are the advantages of each?
Here’s a basic breakdown of the differences between Responsive and Adaptive:
Responsive Web Design - Always Changing
Responsive Web Design provides the optimal viewing experience of a website, no matter what type of device the user is seeing it on. Wikipedia describes it as “an approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors).” This is done by using fluid grids, which is a term for a design that works no matter what the screen size is. So no matter how much you resize the screen, that same layout will automatically respond to that size, like a single ball growing or shrinking to fit through several different hoops.
Adaptive Web Design - Making a Few Changes
Adaptive Web Design is different from Responsive Design in that there isn’t one layout that always changes. Instead, there are several distinct layouts for multiple screen sizes, and the layout used depends on the screen size used. For example, there could be a specific layout for mobile phones, tablets, and desktop computers - each of which are made in advance. These three designs wait on standby until someone visits the site; the site detects the type of device used, and delivers the pre-set layout for that device. So instead of a single ball going through several different-sized hoops, you’d have several different balls to use depending on the hoop size.