Adaptive Vs Responsive Design – Key Differences To Know

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by Graphicszoo 15+ days ago 5 mins read

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We are using our smartphones, today, more than ever. In 2016, for the first time ever, mobile internet usage surpassed desktop usage, and believe it or not, businesses are still adapting to this change! But when it comes to deciding how you want your website to look on a mobile screen, there are largely a couple of options to choose from:

Option 1: Creating a responsive design

Option 2: Creating an adaptive design

Now, many people make the mistake of confusing between the two while some even consider them as the same concepts with different names. In reality, however, the two are very different in terms of their application and benefits.

In this article, we’ll discuss the two types of mobile web designs, how they are different from each other, and which one should you pick for your business.

Adaptive VsResponsive Design – Introduction

In simple terms, responsive design is one that works on all kinds of devices irrespective of their screen size; such as, desktop, tablet, and mobile. These designs automatically adjust the layout according to the device they are being used on without hampering or deteriorating the quality of the design.

This flexibility of the entire design layout works on a simple algorithm of one, two, and three columns.

On the desktop, the content is displayed in three columns, while in the tablet it is adjusted in two columns and, one column is used on mobile screens to display the entire content layout.

A good way to check the responsiveness of a website’s design is by simply shrinking the window and observing whether or not the display changes to match the window size. Responsive websites react with the user in mind and enhance usability no matter what the device is.

Adaptive design, on the other hand, is not fluid like a responsive design structure. Its static nature makes it function the exact same way across all kinds of devices. In other words, adaptive designs do not change based on the device being used.

An adaptive design is similar to designing a mobile app and then adapting the layout that can be viewed neatly on tablet and desktop devices without too many modifications. Your whole design and layout are based on providing excellent mobile user-experience: fast download speeds, rich media content to keep your target audience interested, easy touchscreen navigation, and so on.

Adaptive Vs Responsive Design - Benefits

Responsive website design is preferred by many business owners mainly due to the following benefits:

Good for heavily stacked information websites.

Easier for large forms and complex call-to-actions.

Cost-effective development and maintenance.

Great for SEO. (Helps in improving Google page ranking).

Works on any platform and on any device.

However, adaptive website designs aren’t much behind in popularity, and here are some of the main reasons behind that:

Flexible and functional (you can implement literally anything your business needs).

Access to mobile-specific features like push notifications, geo-location, cameras, etc.

Users spend more time in and engage more with apps.

Smooth UX (Great performance and speed).

More secure than a website.

AdaptiveVs Responsive Design – Which one to choose?

After understanding what both the types of designs actually are and how they function, choosing between the two becomes very subjective.

Responsive website design is a dynamic, mobile-friendly, website that is easy to build as well as maintain with the time-saving approach. Adaptive design requires dual content for the desktop and mobile versions individually. This makes responsive design more efficient.

Having said that, creating a responsive website design is an expensive and complex matter than adaptive design.

Both, adaptive and responsive website designs have their own pros and cons. So, it completely depends on the business owner which one to go for.

However, what certainly can bring some clarity in making the choice is by answering a few important questions, such as;

·Who your audience is?

·How they access your site?

·What actions you want them to perform?

·Are people accessing your website on the move or while sitting behind a desk?

·Are they using Wi-Fi or a 3G connection?

Once you have the answers to these you can make an informed decision on which design is best suited to your new (or existing) website.

To conclude…

Whether you choose a responsive design or adaptive, GraphicsZoo can help you get the best version. Let us help you build a professional website design that is not only reliable but, efficient too. Contact us with your requirements at