Responsive Design versus Adaptive Design
- Mobile, Website Development

Responsive Design versus Adaptive Design

What is the difference between Responsive and Adaptive design?

We all live in an era where we all use numerous numbers of devices to access the internet. Right? Especially smartphones have become one of the major sources where we access data anytime and anywhere. But how can we access all the websites using our phones when they are specially designed to run on the desktop? This is when responsive web design and adaptive web design comes into existence as they make it possible for a website to run on different screen sizes of different devices.

But nowadays, the biggest question that had been asked more often is the difference between both designs. And yes, this is a good question that we need to discuss. Knowing the difference between both designs is important, especially for web designers. Because if they get to know the difference in the right way, then they can decide in a better way which design will work better for their specific project. As there are several devices with different screen sizes are available out there. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of the designers to cater to a variety of screens. People love to surf the internet at different screen sizes, so a website should be accessible to all the devices to have a wider target audience.

As users are using big screens and tiny screens from the corporate mirror to smart-watch to access the internet, people access the internet on all the devices. With the help of these two web designs, designers help meet the needs of the people.

If you are also the one who is looking for an answer to this question, then this is the right platform for you. Here you will get a suitable answer to this question.

Let us now first discuss what responsive design is?

The term responsive design has been first mentioned in the web designer’s book, Ethan Marcotte. It helps adjust the picture or website as per the device screen size from desktop size to smartwatch size. When an individual opens a responsive site, it fits into the size of the screen. The content present on the website will fit the available screen size by itself. The design is straightforward and is beneficial for all the people who use different devices of different screen sizes.

Let us now discuss what adaptive design actually is and how it is different from responsive web design?

The term adaptive design has been mentioned and explained for the first time in the book of a web designer named Aaron Gustafson. In adaptive design, multiple fixed layout designs are present there, and you will receive the information in a layout according to the device size you are using. The most appropriate layout to the device will be shown to the user from the fixed prepared layouts.

Let us know more about both the web designs!!!

Web designers have to make some choices before designing a website, and one of the biggest choices is choosing between both the designs because the function of both designs is almost the same.

The biggest difference in both designs is that the adaptive web design is often less flexible than a responsive one. If you plan to have a singular app interface, then a responsive design is the right choice for you. The design allows the content to get fit in any size of the screen. The font size and the website’s picture get adapted as per the device’s screen size.

In short, responsive design is just like anything that is liquid-like liquid gets fit into any utensil in which you kept it, in the same way, a responsive website design adapts in the screen size in which you open it. Therefore, users will enjoy the different display screen sizes as CSS made the website auto change the display as per the user’s screen size. There is a static point in the adaptive design. A web designer has to design different fixed layouts to fit the different sizes of screens. In this, the website pages are not adaptive according to the size of the screen or not just like liquid as they have fixed layouts. The user will get to see the best layout according to the device you want to get the information.

Though both the designs work the same in terms of function, both are different with different execution. The debate on adaptive and responsive design is there for a long, and both designs have their pros and cons; therefore, no one can say that one is better than the other. It is all about the needs of a project that will decide which one is a better option.

Wrapping it all up!!!

Though both the responsive and adaptive designs are considered the same when accessing the information or a website at the different screen sizes, both are not the same. It requires putting more effort by web developers, while on the other hand, adaptive web design requires fewer efforts in implementation. But when we consider it in the long term, less maintenance is required in the case of responsive web design when compared to the adaptive design, so it can be considered a better option. Apart from that, you don’t just have to create a website at ones not different layouts, so overall, less time and fewer efforts will be required compared to the adaptive web design where you need to create fixed layouts for a website. You have to design just a single website that will adapt itself as per the screen size. But at the same time, the project’s needs and requirements will finally decide which one option a web developer chooses.


jignesh V CEO of USS LLCJignesh Vaghasiya is the CEO at Universal Stream Solution. Universal Stream Solution is a web development company in Atlanta. It helps startups to enterprise companies in mobile & web technology.

Responsive Design versus Adaptive Design

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