May 24, 2024


Think spectacular technology

Responsive Web Design vs Adaptive Web Design:


The communities of website designers in India and abroad are always talking about these two terms- responsive and adaptive website design. Both these are web design approaches that bolster a website by implementing design features and result-driven elements, help attain organizational objectives and create a resounding impact with their purpose and results. 

But why are these two website designing terms creating such a rage? Let’s try to have an in-depth knowledge of the subject. 

Driving Factors Behind the Popularity of Responsive and Adaptive Website Design:

The fact lies in how we browse the internet these days. The users’ search intent, browsing history, browsing patterns, etc., have changed quite a lot over the years. Now, more than 52{8c54160eed80eb00ac4f5d74c8785e95142d89daf570f201b81dc7fdc31059f3} of the internet traffic is constantly browsing the internet on the go. With less time to engage with online content, mobile devices and smartphones are the primary devices with which people browse the internet. 

Earlier, it used to be just the desktop or a laptop which would be the go-to means for people to visit their desired websites to look at their coveted products and services. The constant evolution of technology has created more innovative devices with robust hardware that are getting smaller in size by the day. Even as we speak, there could be a multinational corporation launching a smart device that fits within your palm and enables you access to the entire digital world.

With the diversity of screen sizes, every website designer in India is creating websites, applications and custom software that can seamlessly cater to all kinds of screen sizes. Irrespective of whether it is a palmtop, a smartphone, a laptop, a giant corporate monitor or even a sleek smartwatch, adaptive and responsive web design bridges the gap between these screen sizes and ensures that you can browse the internet, accumulating relevant information and having a look around the content that interests you. 

Responsive Design vs Adaptive Design:

Even many website designers in India who are creating websites and applications do not have a clear picture of responsive and adaptive website design. There are times when the boundaries between these two types of web design principles and approaches seem blurred. However, we will like to present a clear idea to you so that you are well ahead of your compatriots regarding knowing about these design approaches and their utilities. 

  • Responsive Web Design:

As I mentioned, even many people with the tremendous domain expertise of website designing in India might not clearly understand what a responsive website is and its purpose. 

If you wish to develop into one of the unique web designers in India, let’s retrace the path and start connecting the dots backwards. Coined by the famous web designer cum developer Ethan Marcotte in his book- Responsive website design, this design approach or principle refers to that which responds to changes in browser width by adjusting the placement of numerous design elements to fit in the available space and still provide an exciting and attractive outlook. 

Here are some of the distinguishing features. 

  • A responsive website design displays content based on the available browser space.
  • Irrespective of the device that you are using to browse a responsive website, the content will arrange itself dynamically and adjust itself optimally to fit in the browser window- if at all it is undergoing any alterations. 
  • Responsive website design is automatic for mobile phones, as it checks for the available space, arranges itself ideally and presents itself in the most appealing manner possible. 
  • Responsive website design is fluid, more straightforward and manageable as it helps the user witness the same content on a handheld device as quickly as it is done on a giant monitor. 

Indian web designers with in-depth expertise and experience over their craft and a solid understanding of the concepts can create responsive web designs that help your websites garner attention while catering to the custom needs of the end-users. 

  • Adaptive Website Design:

The notable web designer Aaron Gustafson introduced adaptive website design in his book titled ‘Adaptive Website Design- Crafting rich experiences with progressive enhancement’ in 2011. Also known as the progressive enhancement of a website, adaptive website design does not rely on the available browser space to dynamically change its outlook. Instead, there is a library of fixed-layout sizes already present. 

Let’s take a look at some of its inherent facets. 

  • Adaptive website design does not rely on the changing pattern of the available space. 
  • It cannot dynamically adjust itself to the changing pattern of the available space of the browser or screen size.
  • Instead, an adaptive website selects the preset/predeveloped layout by detecting the available space and renders one that is the most appropriate to the screen size. 
  • Since an adaptive website chooses the best configuration depending on the screen size, the adjustment of the browser has no real impact on it. 
  • In adaptive website design, there are six different designs based on the most common screen widths- 320, 480, 720, 960, 1200 and 1600 pixels. 
  • Since the website does not adjust itself dynamically depending on the device, the layout used for a mobile device could be different from that used on a desktop, even though the websites are the same.  

Choosing Between Responsive and Adaptive Website Design:

Suppose you are a startup enterprise or an SMB that wants to create a digital presence and start off by creating a website. In that case, you should seek assistance from an Indian website designer who understands your business’s requirements very well. 

Before proceeding with either of the website design principles, it should be evident as to what kind of user experience you wish to offer.

On the one hand, an adaptive website design creates tailor-made solutions. It ensures the best user experience depending on the interface that the user is most likely to utilize.

In contrast, a responsive design provides uniformity and seamlessness through a fluidic nature that adapts and provides consistency and familiarity across various screens. It is bound to make the users happy and connect easily with their preferred websites. 

Final Words:

Though a website designer and developer plays his part in implementing the kind of website design you need, you should first decide the type of experience your enterprise or organization wishes to provide to its target audience. Without a blueprint of the same, it is next to impossible to whip up a web design that will cater to those requirements and guarantee your business growth through superior audience engagement and retention.