Let’s talk about adaptive web design.
Adaptive web design, like its counterpart in responsive design, came about from the adoption of smart devices. We consume media in a variety of ways. From our desktops to phones.
Developers (and businesses) strive to create a continuity, semantic experience.
It’s so you’re not left pinching the screen and mucking about with trying to navigate the website when you’re mobile.
Adaptive. Responsive? This can be a hard choice…
Adaptive Web Design vs. Responsive
Let’s take a look at the differences and what they have to offer.
Adaptive is expensive to produce. Yet, the server detects the screen width of the user to display the appropriate layout. This means adaptive is a broader reach.
Adaptive web design has a few other benefits:
- Faster load times
- Continuity in the user experience
- Universal URL
The problems? We’re at a point where mobile selection is changing. Adaptive design reaches the majority. Yet, leaves many left out especially in third-world countries which use older models of phones and browsers.
Adaptive design is the go-to choice if the time and resources are available.
Start with the low-end and work your way up. This ensures the continuity is present throughout all aspects of the design.
If you have the budget. Great.
Adaptive is the way to go. It will be a long development process but creates the optimal experience for the end user. This, in turn, will improve conversions when individuals are using the mobile rendition of the site.
Responsive design is commonplace. You find responsive design built into most systems like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal. It makes it easy when you’re able to develop (or buy) a design and cater to mobile.
Yet, there are a few issues:
- Difficulty in development
- Increase site load due to code
- A lack of fine tuning
Responsive is present and gets the job done for most websites. It’s easy in the sense that it works on ratios but hard to tune. What looks great on one screen can be a disaster on another.
Responsive shuffles content. This breaks the user experience. Finely tuned layouts are disjointed because of the automatic hierarchy. It’s great a user can experience the site through mobile. Though it can have real consequences on the experience due to a disconnect from the planned layout.
Take it all in. But also consider…
The Pivot Point
It’s hard to say which is best.
- Adaptive web design creates a smoother experience for the user
- Responsive is the safer option
Adaptive is the better option if the time and resources are available. They’re easier to create since they’re based on specified audiences.
The pivotal point?
Choose what’s best for your budget. Standardisations are changing.
We’re using larger screens for our mobile devices. Who knows the next innovation. If anything — start with responsive design to accommodate your everyday users. Place adaptive web design on your to-do list.
Questions? Want to maximise your reach? Leave a comment below or get in touch to learn how your site can adapt and ride the wave of modern trends.