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The Daily Stream

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The Victor in the Mobile Design War

July 3, 2013 // By: Holly Butterfield

In the world of smartphones, there is one epic war being waged...adaptive design versus responsive design! Who will win? Let's explore...

Recently, we taught you about responsive design for websites and how they are the wave of the future for websites on smart phones. Adaptive design, on the other hand, is what smartphone users see over and over.

What is adaptive design?

You visit a website and are presented with a simplified version of the site. This simplified version is a pared down layout, which often has features of the original site that are often reduced or removed altogether. Basically it’s simple, boring and meant to give some information and nothing else.

What is the difference between adaptive design and responsive design?

The basics of responsive design, summed up:

  • Google recommended best practice
  • One site instead of a mobile and a desktop version
  • No pinching and zooming
  • Same user experience across all devices
  • No site sniffers!

Who wins? Responsive design or adaptive design?

We promised that responsive design would be the winner of the great design war, and now we'd like to show you some numbers that prove there's money where our mouth is!

We took four of our automotive sites, all the same brand, and compared the numbers on their mobile site. One responsive, three adaptive - and let me tell you, the numbers speak for themselves! The responsive website design held a commanding double the amount of pages per visit, half again as much as time spent on site, and the most impressive of all, one third of the bounce rate! If that last term doesn't ring a bell, the bounce rate of a website is the percentage of all visitors to the site that come to one page of the site and "bounce" (leave the site) rather than viewing any other pages on the same site.

As our numbers show, across many sites, the responsive site wins out over the adaptive sites. One by one, Stream Companies is hoping to bring more and more sites over to the winning side of the design war, and we'll continue to bring more information from the front!

You can also check out our FREE Webinar Replay on Responsive Automotive Websites.

Topics: adaptive website, design, Mobile, responsive website, smartphones, Web Design, website design