You do not need to be a digital marketing geek to comprehend how fast the trend of mobile web surfing has caught up in the recent times. Some of the recent studies reveal the web traffic which comes from mobile platform accounts for over 15% of the total visitors and it is on the rise. So, what does this mean for you? Well, it is a wake-up call if you have not done anything to target the mobile web browsers. Since, the number of mobile web users has risen so drastically, you need to develop a mobile version of your website for your target audience to keep them connected, on the move!
What Should You Do?
For hooking in your web audience at large, you can have a different website for mobiles as well as for desktops, tablets and iPads. This will work fine provided you have adequate time and patience to update all the versions regularly. But having a website developed for each single device and keeping them updated is a great ordeal and ideally, you should have one website, which runs off one CMS, readjusts itself in different screen sizes of varying devices. Herein, you can embrace two proven techniques – Responsive Web Design (RWD) and Adaptive Web Design (AWD). Although there are certain similarities between the two techniques, yet they differ in varying ways.
What is Responsive Web Design?
Responsive Web Design has been a fad but a trend that existed for quite some time now. To put it simply, responsive design refers to a web layout wherein the content, images and the other designing elements stay the same, but shrink immediately to adjust with the specific screen size. In responsive type, the content can be managed from one CMS and it is quick, easy and cost effective solution which can be implemented without hassle.
However, if your website has large files like high resolution images and videos, it will take too much time to load on a mobile device and this is where the Adaptive designing steps in.
What is Adaptive Web Design?
Adaptive design is pretty much newer concept in the industry. Essentially, this technique adapts to what is displayed in the devices, depending upon the devices’ capabilities and its’ screen size. In this form of web lay-out, inspite of the fact that the content remains same, there are certain changes that appear in the design elements, depending whether users are accessing the site from a desktop computer or through a mobile device or tablet. In adaptive type, varying layouts are used, including few ‘Responsive’ elements which reduces the different number of templates. In extreme notions, adaptive layouts completely rephrase the content and adjust/remove excess images and video files.
Adaptive Design for the web is yet to become popular in the industry, but the concept is genuinely seeking new heights, in times to come. The end-goal is to enrich the user-experience, to its best. However, there are certain cons of AWD practice.
• Adaptive websites cost more compared to the responsive designs
• AWD can goof up the entire feel of the website if it is not backed up by proper planning.
• Since AWD re-adjusts the design elements and even reword content, it can bring in brand inconsistency and confuse your target audience when they see different interfaces on varying devices.
So what’s The Bottomline?
While Responsive design can be the perfect solution which simplifies the information provided on a website by adjusting itself to varying screen sizes, the adaptive type is much more user-focused. In years to come, more than 50% of the web users will use their mobile devices to surf the web and hence it is best to blend adaptive web lay-out techniques with responsive elements to leverage the web visibility, engage the target visitors and leverage the conversion ratio.