The development of responsive and adaptive websites is simply to make them mobile friendly. Mobile Friendly includes smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, and laptops. Designers need to cater to all devices when creating websites to ensure satisfactory usability and accessibility. There are two methods to choose when making your site mobile friendly; let’s dive into the differences and similarities between the two.
Responsive design means that one size or design fits all screens. The code sets dimensions that determine where the site will scale images, wrap text, adjust the layout.This is achieved using CSS media queries. As the website is loading, the code in the design checks how much space is available on the device’s browser. Although this slows down the page loading time, the design will respond to the browser size and resize many of the elements on the homepage. The device browser size is dependent on the device screen size on smaller devices and dependent on the browser window size on larger devices. For example, on smaller devices, the browser size is fixed, but on a tablet, desktop, or laptop, the user can change the browser screen size on command. If you resize your browser on a laptop or desktop, you may notice a changes in the design.
You have less control over the elements on your site with responsive design, element can move around inappropriately on devices that the site was not optimized for. This lack of control over element placement can cause advertisements to not be visible to consumers – affecting your bottom line. This makes it so that responsive design requires testing on various devices. The investment is not as pricey as the adaptive design, especially when using templates on sites like Weebly, WordPress or Squarespace.
Adaptive design also heavily depends on the device screen size. Typically, a designer would develop six different designs to go along with each standard screen width; 320, 480, 760, 960, 1200, and 1600 pixels. More time consuming and expensive but ensures the best user experience because each design is tailored to the user’s device. It gives you more control over the experience which is why industry leaders like Amazon use adaptive design. Another plus is that adaptive Designs often outperforms responsive design on speed tests. The speed of your site highly correlates with website traffic.
Take a peep at what Awwwards considers the best responsive designs
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