UXPA – Responsive v Adaptive Design

uxpa-logoVery interesting “unconference” format and a new concept I was grateful to learn.  Based on the spirit of the association, the industry is doing very well, and the most critical question was how to predict what comes next and how to keep up with all new developments (and adapt our sites and emails to the new devices that are yet to be invented).  I guess, general expectation of change and the need to react appropriately was clear for most people in the industry.

Interesting:  a difference between Responsive and Adaptive design.

Responsive design is client-side, meaning the whole page is delivered to the device browser (the client), and the browser then changes how the page appears in relation to the dimensions of the browser window.

Adaptive design is server-side, meaning before the page is even delivered, the server (where the site is hosted) detects the attributes of the device, and loads a version of the site that is optimized for its dimensions and native features.

Looking at a site that uses responsive design, as you drag the corner of your browser window to resize it, you will see the site shrink until it reaches a breakpoint, and then the layout of the site will reload differently to better suit that smaller screen size and new browser dimensions.      Huffington Post


Suppose there’s a website with an extensive menu at the top. On a small mobile screen, responsive web design will make probably make the menu collapse into a drop-down icon at the top. With adaptive design, this collapse of the menu will still take place (remember responsive is a subset of adaptive), but the website will also behave according to device-specific features, such as allowing tap-click or swipe for touch phones, or a navigable mouse icon for non-touch screens. Flaunt Responsive

After reading the discussion around adaptive v responsive, it is clear that the industry is still moving to a “best solution” if it exists.  Of course, everybody is not forgetting to point out that the best approach is based on the objective and the strategy established to achieve this objective.  🙂

The food at the event was fantastic!!



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