Adaptive web design
Adaptive web design is basically the same as responsive design and shares many of the same ideals and goals. The main difference however is that the changes are made on the server side rather than the client side.
Adaptive websites are designed to respond and adapt to different screen sizes using responsive techniques, and to adapt to different User requirements based on different device capabilities.
The responsive design aspect of adaptive design involves the implementation of various design factors such as flexible layouts, CSS file alternatives and flexible images, which are activated using media queries.
With adaptive delivery, the most significant difference is that the server hosting the website detects the devices making requests to it, and uses this information to deliver different batches of HTML and CSS code based on the characteristics of the device that have been detected.
Adaptive web design also encompasses a range of other strategies which, when combined with responsive design techniques, enables you to deliver the best possible User experience to the widest possible audience. This means that numerous functionalities and environmental factors can be catered for in the most User friendly way, depending on the particular device being used to access your website.
- Gustafson, Aaron. Adaptive Web Design: Crafting Rich Experiences with Progressive Enhancement. Easy Readers, LLC; 1st edition, 2011.