Responsive or Adaptive Design! Which one should you choose?

22 Sep 2015 | By Jane

Topics: Responsive or Adaptive Design!

As we all know earlier this year Google introduced “Mobile add-on” an algorithm change which spread anxiety across the digital spectrum. Its release made businesses reconsider their website design and how their website displayed across mobile devices such as Tablets and Smartphones. The overall goal being to enhance the user experience, achieving a mobile friendly site plays a key part in website redesign.

So what’s the difference between the two and how you decide which one is good for your business?


In simple terms, responsive web designs take the same site but use a single fluid design to fit and adapt to the various and many device screens it can be viewed on. It is based on media queries, flexible grids and responsive images that can be used to create a better UX that flexes and changes based on a multitude of factors. But don’t worry, you can leave this to the front end developers!

In theory, this mobile friendly design is prepared and optimised for this, including new screen sizes that may come out. For a digitally forward-thinking business, this option is one that could prepare them for new gadgets or web based devices that may appear in the future.

There is ongoing debate as to whether responsive is more difficult to design and develop than adaptive. Ultimately, the primary benefit of responsive web design is that each user experiences a consistent design, regardless of the device used by them. And thus the Team7india team love not only simple, practical and effective design but also believing in creating consistency which is one of the best ways to build your brand identity.


In the opposite corner stands adaptive web design. One that again takes the same single site, however, it has different designs for mobile, tablet and desktop types, rather than one fluid design.

The thing we love about this approach is its faster load time as content has already been optimised for each particular device design. With 40% of people abandoning a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load, it is a major factor to be considered in your endeavour for mobile friendly.

So what does this mean for your business?

Deciding on what mobile-friendly approach is best for you will depend entirely on the needs of your project. But we don’t think the decision should lie between adaptive or responsive. At Team7india, we don’t think there should be a specific definition for each design because they are not completely restrictive of each other. We use the combination of the two to produce designs that will work best for your business and your users regardless of their device. After all, that is what Mobile addon is all about.

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