Responsive vs Adaptive – which is best? No need to fight, both methods can exist in harmony. Lets get some definitions out of the way:

Responsive design: will fluidly change and respond to fit any screen or device size.

Adaptive Design: will change to fit a predetermined set of screen and device sizes.

The problem with responsive design is that on a smaller device you are effectively loading everything that you would for a desktop computer and just hiding the surplus. The problem with adaptive design is that you are only catering for a small sub-set of device types.

This is why we favour responsive design with adaptive loading. Using this model we still have all the responsive design advantages (therefore looking great on any device), requesting only the assets we require, depending on the device used. So when our responsive website loads on your smartphone, we are not hiding that complex Javascript slideshow, we are not even rendering it therefore speeding up website load times.

It’s probably not the web design panacea, but we think for now it is the best of both worlds.