How to differentiate the various website designs | Pixel Lab
Digital Development Specialists
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How to differentiate between a mobile-first, adaptive and responsive design

23 Oct How to differentiate between a mobile-first, adaptive and responsive design

Although website users take the initiative to browse and search thoroughly, their experience lies in the hands of the website designer. A user’s experience depends largely on how comfortable their journey was, regardless of what device they used. Users tend to disregard websites that are not optimised and functional for mobile devices and tablets.

A key factor influencing a customer’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction is a website’s design. Before deciding on which design to implement, your business needs to assess the options of website designs. So what exactly is the difference between mobile-first, adaptive and responsive web design?

Mobile-first design

Mobile devices are a versatile form of technology which allows customers to interact with a website at any given time. A mobile-first strategy is implemented when a website is designed for the initial use of a mobile device which can then be upscaled and adjusted to a computer. As a result, the mobile-first design will offer a standardised user experience on all platforms. Implementing a favourable mobile device experience will influence customers to utilise your site as a primary content feeder.

Adaptive website

An adaptive website adjusts to the specifics of a browser’s environment in terms of the screen widths. Therefore, an adaptive design detects the required screen size and then loads the suitable layout.  There is often a misinterpretation between an adaptive and responsive design. However, it’s often a combination of both techniques. You have a lot more control over an adaptive website.

Responsive website

A responsive website is a technique that automatically adapts the content to the size of the browser with any selected device. The layout and content of the site will change in respect to the width of the browser on a device. This means that you only need one website due to the fast adjustment of this technique. Responsive design doesn’t offer as much control as an adaptive design, however, it’s easier to develop and maintain.

In the end, your business needs to decide what design will be most effective and attract a longer lasting visit, leading to an increase in conversion rates. You need to do the necessary research on your current and potential customers in order to verify exactly what action they take on your website. By analysing the various research, you will be in a position to create an efficient and effective strategy to lead to greater success.

A customer’s initial contact with a business’s brand is often through their website. A responsive design is the more affordable approach as it only requires one website and is fully functional on a mobile device which is an absolute priority. You certainly don’t want to be in a position where customers are having difficulty accessing your website.

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