Web Design for Multiple Devices

Posted by Chris Kelley

Find me on:

January 27, 2014

Responsive and Adaptive Web Design

Responsive Web Design -vs- Adaptive Web Design

The accessibility of websites on various consumer devices is a fluid issue, creating both opportunities and challenges for creative web developers. From traditional computer screens to smart phones, tablets, gaming consoles and even refrigerators and home security systems, the technology for web-enabled gadgets is continuously evolving.

As a product manufacturer, whose ultimate goal is to sell more products at a profit, how does your brand develop a website that enables cohesive messaging across multiple platforms, when the game is always changing? Two web design approaches have been developed to address this challenge and provide web users with an optimal viewing experience; Responsive Web Design (RWD) and Adaptive Web Design (AWD).

While both approaches are successful at providing an enhanced user experience for different mobile devices, the delivery is distinctly different.

Responsive Web Design enables the users viewing experience to fluidly change and fit any screen or device size.


Focuses on the browser

Programs elements, such as CSS3 modules, fluid grids and flexible images into the design to create a "flexible" foundation

Enables navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling


Content Accessibility

Website Maintenance

Easier For Search Engines To Find


Load Times Due To Complex Code

Delivery Of Mobile Specific Content

Adaptive Web Design enables the users viewing experience to adapt to a predetermined screen or device size.


Focuses on the user

Uses predefined layout sizes, CSS and Java to detect the device that is being used and then adapts the view to fit the screen or device


The development of separate website/HTML, allows site optimization (specific files and templates for each device)

Pages load fast


Requires the development and maintenance of separate websites, either by URL or HTML/CSS code

When deciding between RWD and AWD, companies should consider their customers and the web-enabled devices they may be using. For more detailed information about responsiveness and adaptive web design and which approach is optimal for your business setting, check out these source URL's:




Topics: Website Development