Responsive Or Adaptive - Which Design To Choose?

21 Aug 2014

With the wide spread of mobile devices and its categories in terms of size, shape and technology, it is very essential for service providers to ensure their developed applications work and look well on each and every gizmo, be it a phone, tablet, laptop, desktop or any other mobile device.

When it comes to designing applications best suited to your application, there are two famously popular design techniques: Responsive Web Design (RWD) and Adaptive Web Design (AWD). Both of these techniques are apt for web applications on mobile devices and have been on the spree since years, each of which has their own highlights and drawbacks. Depending on certain factors, it is upto the solution provider and the client to decide which approach to adapt to.

Responsive Vs Adaptive

Let us run through features of both of these well known approaches and how should we be deciding on which one to choose.

A) Responsive Web Design (RWD)

A RWD focuses on responding to any type of screen size, be it any gadget. It will display the correct dimensions of the application on any type of device. It is fluid, made using CSS3 media queries, because of which a flexible grip is created where in the written text can wrap and images can shrink as per the size of the browser and the device. These media queries also allow a large variety of options for the layouts (including colors, images, fonts and texts) to adapt to the screen size. RWD utilizes flexible images, flexible videos and fluid type to adapt its layout to the device on which the application is being viewed and thereby, change and respond to fit to any particular screen or device.

B) Adaptive Web Design (AWD)

AWD encompasses a set of static layouts which are designed based on different sizes, which are anticipated in advance. Hence, once the device is detected, the corresponding pre-defined layout is called and loaded. The size does not change dynamically, but loads the static layouts as required. AWD talks about Progressive Enhancement (PE) and its components which focuses on the end user and not the browser. The layers included in PE are Content Layer (Rich Semantic HTML Mark Up), Presentation Layer (CSS and Styling) and Client side scripting Layer (JavaScript).

Which one to choose and Why?

Both of these design methodologies have a similar underline: Allow websites to be viewed on any type of mobile device with varying screen sizes with an enriched user experience. What varies is their way to delivering the output. RWD depends on flexible and fluid grids whereas AWD depends on predefined screen sizing. RWD consists of a little more coding approach with fluid grids and CSS and AWD possesses a consistent and layered approach using scripting.

Which one to choose and Why?

RWD is recommended for end users for whom budget is no question and who need a variance of mobile devices for their application to be implemented.

AWD is recommended for end users with a limited budget or limited device types and screen sizes. It is also better for applications which have a lot of images which do not scale well.

SPEC INDIA, your IT solution provider, has been rendering design services for web designing, mobile application designing and UI / UX designing. Designing is a creative art and we put in our best efforts to blend in our designing art with our technological applications.


TAGS Responsive Or Adaptive Responsive Vs Adaptive Responsive Web Design Adaptive Web Design UI / UX designing


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