Design an Adaptive or Responsive Mobile Website

May 9, 2018

Having a successful website on any sized screen means a lot of planning. The planning should even begin before choosing a web design, and that starts with knowing what type of experience you want for viewers to the site: adaptive or responsive.

Go to any website on a desktop computer right now and the flow and look of the web design will be specific for your computer screen. Now head to that same site but on a mobile screen. If it looks the same as the desktop version but only smaller and more cumbersome to click around, then the web design has not joined modern times. If the mobile site looks a bit different but has good functionality and stays in the same theme as the original, then it has been adapted to fit mobile screens with ease. Having a mobile-friendly site that stays away from fixed width design is so key in today’s world of web design in Toronto and beyond.

When it comes to mobile design, there are two distinct ways to keep people clicking, even on the smallest of mobile screens. Adaptive and responsive web designs are the two main design elements to choose between, and both make sense in web design. The key is choosing which works best for the company’s purpose of the website.

Adapting with adaptive web design

Adaptive web design kind of explains itself: it adapts to the screen that is being used. This means a site is actually designed multiple times, and as soon as an Internet user attempts to reach the page, the device is detected and the correct layout for the screen size is opened. This gives more flexibility in that you can adapt the website to fit any user, but then it can be a nuisance if a new mobile phone size comes out as you will need to create a new site to fit that screen.

Responding with responsive web design

At first glance, responsive web design seems like it is just the same website, no matter what device is being used. But behind the scenes the technical part of the design is quite intricate. This is because the site is originally crafted in such a way that it can be viewed on any device and still look this way. This means minimal panning and zooming in, and even minimal scrolling–all of which would be necessary in the old fashioned fixed width design.

Responsive web design, while trickier to make, can be done with great success if the original design plan includes this type of mobile interface. Not all business or websites can actually benefit from responsive web design in Toronto. It all depends on whether there is the right amount of content to work well using the same design on all types of screens.

With so much to consider in the planning phase of web design, don’t forget to first make the important decision of choosing adaptive or responsive design.