Adaptive design, also known as responsive design, is a design approach that aims to create websites and applications that can adapt to the specific needs and characteristics of the device, browser, or platform they are being accessed on. This includes adapting to different screen sizes, resolutions, and orientations, as well as the different capabilities and features of different browsers and platforms.

What is Adaptive Design?

Adaptive Design is becoming increasingly popular in web design and development. It is an approach to creating digital experiences tailored to the user's preferences, capabilities, and context. Content is adapted to the user's device, screen size, and location to provide an optimal experience. This form of responsive web design focuses on user experience. As we move into the mobile-first world, Adaptive Design is becoming increasingly important, as it allows for a tailored experience that meets the user's needs.

What's the Difference between Adaptive and Responsive Design?
Illusrtation of the differences between responsive and adaptive design.
Responsive Vs Adaptive Design (image from Glomo Learning)

Although these concepts are often used interchangeably,  it's important to understand that there are distinct differences between them.

Adaptive design is a technique that uses predetermined breakpoints, which is a specific width or device orientation, to create different versions of a website that are tailored to different-sized screens and devices.

Responsive design, on the other hand, is a technique that uses fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries to create a website that dynamically adjusts and resizes itself to fit the size of the device that it is being viewed on.

While these two techniques are similar, the main distinction is that adaptive design uses predetermined breakpoints, while responsive design is based on the size of the device or browser used to view the website.

Why Use Adaptive Web Design?

By using Adaptive Web Design, a website can be designed to look and behave differently depending on the type of device it’s being viewed on. This means that the website can provide an optimal experience for the user, no matter what device they use. Adaptive Web Design also allows for the website to be responsive, meaning that the design will automatically adjust for different screen sizes, and the content will be rearranged in the best way possible for the device. This makes it easier for users to find what they’re looking for and navigate the website more efficiently. Additionally, Adaptive Web Design promotes scalability, meaning that the website can be used across multiple devices without having to be redeveloped for each device. This helps save time and money while also providing the best possible web experience for the user. All of these benefits make Adaptive Web Design a great choice for any website.