Responsive vs Adaptive Design

Denny Lesmana
2 min readMay 21, 2021

In designing a website, one of the things that must be considered is the user experience of our website visitors. Along with the times, more and more visitors are using their mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to browse with the times, more and more visitors are using their mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones, to browse. Therefore, modern websites should be easily viewable even from mobile devices.
We must propose two approaches for this: responsive and adaptive design. Then what’s the difference?

Responsive Design

Simply put, a responsive website means that the website will change or adapt to changes in the size of the browser screen. CSS media queries are used in responsive design to change styles and adjust layout to fit all screen sizes.

Image resource: https://www.lazerpics.com/website-design-and-hosting-in-newton-abbot-torquay-exeter-plymouth-totnes-paignton-ivybridge-dartmoor-south-devon-south-west-england/

Adaptive Design

Just like responsive design, adaptive design will adjust the page layout according to the width of the browser, but in a different way. Adaptive will detect the browser screen size and then load the appropriate layout. Generally, UI developers will design one website page for different screen sizes. Screen sizes (pixels) that are usually used are:

  • 320
  • 480
  • 760
  • 960
  • 1200
  • 1600
Image resource: https://www.atilus.com/responsive-vs-adaptive-web-design/

PROS AND CONS

Responsive design (Pros)

  • SEO-friendly
  • can use various templates.
  • usually easier and faster to implement.

Responsive design (Cons)

  • The mobile version usually takes longer to load.
  • must match each element on all screen displays.

Adaptive design (Pros)

  • Developers have control over the appearance of various devices.
  • Faster loading.
  • Usually easier and faster to implement.

Adaptive design (Cons)

  • Takes longer to make.
  • Devices often change screen sizes, so they have to make and adjust the design again.
  • Difficult for SEO because search engines will find it difficult to recognize.

Both have their own pros and cons. We can choose which one suits our business or product.

Thanks for reading!

@denny.lesmanaa

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Denny Lesmana

Senior Full Stack Engineer @ Ajaib | Tech & Investment Enthusiast | twitter: https://twitter.com/Denny_lesmanaa