Responsive vs. Adaptive design

- responsive, tutorials - 2 min read - edit post

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One of the regular topic which usually comes in every discussion before starting a website, actually a bit confusing too.

What is Responsive?

Every site is responsive in behavior until you want to make it adaptive.

Confusing? Let me explain – When you write text on any web page it is responsive, you can open your website on any device/browser text will adjust according to your device width. The problem comes into the picture, the moment you start fixing width in your layouts.

What is Adaptive?

Adaptive layout can’t work without responsive thinking. Yes, Besides your adaptive layouts there is always responsive behavior works. When your design requires any special treatment for a particular device/orientation it needs to be handled by the adaptive method.

Media queries: Media queries play a very essential role while implementing adaptive designs. You can give special instructions based on target media, for example mobile, tablets, desktops, printers.

Is Responsive Better Than Adaptive?

I would say both methods have their own importance, so there is no sharp edge answer which one is better. As per industry standards, web-developers usually follow Mobile First Approach, which plays an important part while developing a website.

Responsive Grid pattern: You can use bootstrap grid pattern to fasten up your development. It provides Adaptive as well as Responsive behavior.

Closure with clients

It depends upon the client to the client how technical they are, normally they want the website should work on every device and browser. It’s better to start with a responsive approach (mobile-first) so that in case they want anything special on bigger viewports (tablets, desktops) you can easily add.