What is adaptive design and adaptive layout?

Let's start with the most important thing: What is adaptive design and layout? Users are accessing sites from phones, tablets and computers, so it is very important to ensure that it works on a variety of devices. This is where adaptive design and layout come into play.

Adaptive design - an approach to creating websites that adapt to the user's device, given the design, screen size and orientation. Such a site easily adjusts the layout, content and functionality for optimal perception.

Adaptive coding involves the technical implementation of this design approach. It uses HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, to create flexible websites that can seamlessly adapt to different devices and screen resolutions.

So why is adaptive design and development so important?

These days, most users visit websites from mobile devices. You can open a website wherever you are: on the street or in transport, or lying in bed. The mobile audience is constantly growing, so developers do not leave this fact without attention and adapt sites for different devices.

In the past, adaptive layout was not so necessary. Most users preferred to visit sites from a computer, and mobile users were not so much. But time goes on, and now site adaptability is one of the key things to think about early in the development of a website.

The usability of a website is affected by adaptive design.

Modern sites are competing with each other for user priority, so users are becoming more demanding and selective. The simpler and more user-friendly the interface of the site, the larger the audience it will attract.

Adaptability of the site is one of the important conditions in the promotion. If the site is not adaptive for mobile devices, then it will not only lose some users, but also will lose in the ranking.

Do not forget that sites adapted for mobile devices can increase sales. And if the site is not adapted to gadgets, it will simply lose some potential customers.

What is the difference between responsive design and adaptive design?

When responsive design, the site itself is able to display the desired interface. He adjusts to any screen size and resolution. Responsive design works by using a software module, which stretches or compresses the layout.

This technology is easier, but it has its disadvantages. Responsive design is available only for sites with a simple layout. Websites with responsive design weigh more and take longer to load. It takes longer to load and compress the layout from a maximal size layout. Site speed affects search engine rankings. In addition, users don't like long waits and will simply close the site when it takes a long time to load. In the adaptive design process is faster, because you have to download a single optimized layout.

Most give preference to adaptive design. It depends on the needs of a particular company, but most use it. Its cost is higher than the responsive design, but lower than the mobile version. Even for the most non-standard design, solutions can be set up to display correctly.

But making a decision about which design to choose should be based on your specific situation.

In this article, we will consider in detail each of the presented sites. You'll be able to notice the important points and the best solutions to make your site has become only better.

1. Apple

Apple's site stands out for its adaptive design and development. The site has a number of features that characterize its adaptive design.

The Apple website adapts perfectly to any platform and device, with different extensions and versions. For ease of use on computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets, the site layout changes dynamically. This approach to site development and design allows the user to explore its content on any device.

The design of the Apple website requires separate attention, it adheres to a style of elegance and simplicity. The lack of clutter and variegated elements, visually appealing and brightens up the UX. Through the use of white space, clear navigation elements, and clear typography, the site focuses on simplicity, making it easy for users to find and work with the content they want. The minimalist approach to the design of this site, multiplies the usability.

One of the many features of the Apple site is undoubtedly the use of visuals and high-quality images. Upon entering the site, you will be presented with Apple products and services through exciting videos and images. The adaptive design keeps the quality of the videos and images consistent across all devices. Apple has always been known for its attention to detail, and this is what makes it feel immersive when you visit the site and enjoy using it.

One of the benefits of Apple's adaptive website design is simple and straightforward navigation. The simple and convenient organization of the site will easily guide the user through the categories and sections of the site. Adaptive design ensures that navigation remains convenient and easy for the user, regardless of the device used. The emphasis on navigation in the design ensures that the user experience is convenient and that the user will quickly find what they are looking for.

Overall, Apple's website stands out for its adaptive design and development. The seamless responsiveness, minimalist and elegant interface, stunning visuals, seamless integration of detailed product information, intuitive navigation, and emphasis on accessibility combine to create a superior user experience. These features set Apple's responsive design apart from other websites, allowing users to seamlessly interact with Apple products and services across devices.

2. Airbnb

Airbnb is one of the popular home booking sites around the world, and what makes it so is its outstanding adaptive design and development.

The site is eye-catching in its visuals, but still keeps it simple and easy to use. Airbnb's adaptive design emphasizes affordable housing through high-resolution imagery.

The main feature of the site is its search. To easily find accommodations, the site offers multiple filters, price ranges, city and neighborhood choices, and more. The use of responsive design ensures that the search option will work on any device.

For the nature of the Airbnb site and its responsive design, it's important to show accessible and detailed information about the accommodation provided. As you explore each listing, you'll find a comprehensive description of the accommodation, its amenities, the rules of accommodation, and user reviews. Adaptive design puts the information in an accessible and appealing way that enhances housing comparison and evaluation.

One of the attractive features is the ability to safely and conveniently book accommodations. With the use of adaptive design and clear instructions on the site, booking and renting accommodations is easy. The integration of secure payment methods ensures smooth and secure transactions.

Airbnb's responsive design takes care of both renters and hosts. The site's interface makes it easy to manage listings and read reviews. Adaptive design makes it easy to use, easy to update listings, and hassle-free communication between hosts and guests.

Adaptive design and layout are some of the keys to Airbnb's market leadership. The site's accessibility, seamless experience, user-friendly interface, functional search, secure payment, and detailed listing descriptions make for an unforgettable user experience.

3. CSS-Tricks

The CSS-Tricks website is one of the leading CSS resources for web developers looking for tutorials, examples, articles or templates, precisely because of its adaptive design and development.

CSS-Tricks' adaptive design makes it easy to work across devices. The site's adaptive and responsive layout brings convenience in its use on any device, be it a desktop computer, phone or tablet.

The navigation design adheres to the principles of simplicity and clarity. The menus and navigation of the site are well organized, allowing the user to easily find the information, tutorial or forum they want. The site adapts perfectly to any device, allowing it to be explored with particular convenience.

For the subject of a site like CSS-Tricks, it is important to present the code examples correctly and readably, in this aspect, adaptive design will help. Thanks to the adaptive design and development, all parts of the code are carefully formatted, there is syntax highlighting, indentations are set correctly. All these facts increase trainability, and the opportunity to use the techniques presented on the site in the real development and user projects.

It should be noted that the exceptional adaptive design and development of CSS-Tricks make it an invaluable resource for web developers and designers. The pleasing design, simple and easy navigation, code presentation and excellent implementation for mobile devices make the CSS-Tricks site stand out and make it a great resource for web developers and designers.

4. Amazon

Amazon quickly noticed that its site needed an update. It was important that a large customer base could enjoy faster page load speeds (a critical Google ranking factor) and a stable user interface from any device.

Amazon's adaptive approach to web design allowed the entire site to merge with their application. This gave users the ability to switch between the two and use the same features and workflow organization. Thanks to adaptive design templates that ensure consistency across all devices, users can browse the web, shop and checkout in the way they are used to.

This approach allows Amazon to ensure that page load speeds are optimized and that users are equally likely to access the e-commerce platform from both desktop and mobile websites. The search bar remains a central element of the design layout in all formats, despite various other features. Optimized for mobile, Amazon's approach to responsive design is a successful example of how to maintain efficiency and consistency for e-commerce platforms.

5. Dropbox

Dropbox is the leading cloud storage and sharing platform, precisely because of its adaptive design and development. The emphasis of the site design is on simplicity and brevity. The site includes several features that emphasize its outstanding adaptive design.

The design is light and simple, yet visually pleasing, allowing you to quickly navigate through sections of the site and work with files and folders. Intuitive menus and buttons, clear typography, all improve the user experience and allow you to quickly find the files you need.

One of the features of the Dropbox site, is the ease of syncing and sharing files. The adaptive design and development allows the website user to access files on different devices, through seamless integration.

More often than not, the resource is used for collaboration, and the Dropbox team emphasizes this. When using the site, you'll be provided with features such as shared folders, collaborative online document editing. Adaptive design optimizes collaboration across devices.

One of the specifics of Dropbox's adaptive website design and development is security and privacy. Modern measures such as encrypted file transfer and two-factor authentication are used to secure your files and collaboration on the site. The adaptive design makes it easy to manage access and security settings, while optimizing security overall.

The Dropbox website stands out for its exceptional adaptive design and development, which is what contributes to its popularity among users. Every element of the design, its features, security and collaboration measures create an impressive user experience across devices. This is what attracts users, making Dropbox's adaptive design stand out among other platforms.

6. Medium

Medium is a popular platform for online publications, standing out for its adaptive design and development on the market.

For comfortable reading on any device, phone, tablet or computer Medium's adaptive design adjusts the resolution and size of the screen, thus optimizing the performance and functionality of the site on any platform.

The Medium website is characterized by innovative algorithms for selecting and recommending content. Adaptive design takes into account all the reader's preferences and viewed content, to select interesting and relevant articles, stories or books.

User interaction with content is an important component of a site with this kind of content. Medium's adaptive design allows the reader to leave comments not only on the article in general, but also on its specific sections, creating a sense of community. Such an approach engages the reader not only in reading, but also in an engaging discussion.

Medium and its adaptive design emphasize not only the reader, but also the content creators. The simplicity and convenience of the editor, allows authors to quickly compose and edit their articles. Adaptive design makes working with content convenient on any device, allowing you to publish and edit an article even from your phone.

The trend for mobile reading is growing in today's world, and Medium's adaptive design is designed for that. The excellent optimization of the interface for mobile screens, guarantees a comfortable reading experience, also the adaptive design includes mobile-specific features, swipe gestures and responsive menus make reading easier, beautifying the user experience.

Considering all the above facts, we can conclude that it is the adaptive design and development that makes Medium's website the leading platform for online publishing. Its user-friendly interface, bias toward the mobile reading trend, and author-friendliness set Medium apart from other publishing platforms.

7. Slack

Slack is a widely used enterprise messenger. The clean and adaptive layout creates a modern site interface with a bias toward ease and efficiency of communication. The website gives access to a seamless platform, allowing you to create chats, channels and exchange messages in real time.

Slack emphasizes organization and information management. The adaptive design offers a number of handy features: streaming conversations, searching and pinning messages, allowing you to quickly find the information you need in a conversation.

Another notable aspect of Slack's adaptive design is its integration with other tools and services to improve productivity. The site easily allows the user to integrate third-party applications to implement their favorite and convenient tools into Slack.

Overall, Slack's exceptional adaptive design and development contribute to its success as a leading collaboration platform. The seamless responsiveness, user-friendly interface, real-time messaging and collaboration, information management features, integration with other tools, mobile optimization, and security measures combine to create a superior user experience. These features set Slack's adaptive design apart from other collaboration platforms, allowing teams to communicate, collaborate, and stay productive across devices.

8. Shopify

Shopify chose a different solution for its adaptive design. The company optimized the website and app in different directions on a "one size fits all" basis.

Shopify's designers decided that with any screen size, their design elements should fit the screen the user is using. Therefore, to ensure that all users have a uniform interface. Shopify designed their site to work according to the screen size of the device. It also provided different CTAs and illustrations at different sizes and locations on the page.

While on PCs and tablets, Shopify's CTAs and images appear to the right of the form, on mobile devices these elements are below and in the center. This adaptive design approach allows for a more diverse interface while maintaining an optimized interaction experience, regardless of their screen size.

9. Smashing Magazine

Smashing Magazine is a well-known publication for web designers and developers. Smashing Magazine has a variety of content, covering many topics related to web design, development, UX/UI and more. Therefore, the site itself must match the content. Adaptive design ensures that content is presented in a visually appealing and readable format on all devices, allowing users to easily explore articles, case studies and tutorials.

Smashing Magazine's adaptive design features a clean and intuitive layout. This allows users to navigate through articles, tutorials, and resources. The use of clear typography, well-structured categories, and prominent search features improves UX, so users can easily find the content they want.

Smashing Magazine focuses on engagement. The site offers comments, likes and other features, allowing readers to interact with content and participate in discussions. The adaptive design optimizes these features, allowing users to easily share and interact. The site showcases inspiring designs, illustrations, and photos in its articles and curated collections. Adaptive design provides proper and responsive display of visual elements, allowing users to appreciate the creativity and aesthetics of the various designs.

The site provides a user-friendly interface for authors and contributors to publish their articles. Adaptive design optimizes the author interface, making it easier for authors to format and upload content. The mobile interface is specifically optimized for small screens, providing a user-friendly experience on smartphones and tablets.

Overall, Smashing Magazine's exceptional adaptive design and development contribute to its success as the leading online publication for web designers and developers.

10. Trello

Trello is a popular project management and collaboration tool. One of the distinguishing features of Trello is its clear project management system. The site uses boards and cards. Users can create, schedule, and prioritize tasks and projects. The adaptive design provides a user-friendly interface and project management on all devices.

Trello emphasizes collaboration and communication among team members. The site offers features such as comments, attachments, due dates, and activity feeds that allow users to collaborate in real time and stay informed of project progress. Optimize these features for collaboration, giving users a well-established collaborative experience.

Another plus point of Trello is its integration capabilities. The site easily interacts with a variety of third-party applications and services. This helps users connect their favorite tools and improve workflow.

The mobile interface is specifically optimized for small screens, making it easy to work on smartphones and tablets. The adaptive design includes features for mobile devices. Swipe gestures and responsive menus make it easy for users to access and manage their projects on the go.

Trello considers the importance of data privacy. The site uses security measures such as encryption and user access controls to protect project information.

These features set Trello's adaptive design apart from other project management tools, allowing teams to efficiently organize, collaborate, and track their projects across devices.

11. WillowTree

WillowTree is a digital product agency. One of WillowTree's features is its portfolio showcase. The website actively showcases the company's work, presents case studies, client testimonials and project details in an interesting way. Adaptive design ensures that the portfolio section is visually appealing and accessible on all devices, allowing visitors to explore and evaluate the company's experience.

WillowTree includes effective calls to action (CTAs) throughout the website. Whether requesting a consultation, exploring career opportunities, or accessing relevant resources, CTAs are strategically located and visually stand out.

WillowTree, unlike other companies, has implemented a static navigation bar at the top of the page. This makes the interface more enjoyable for users with handheld devices. Additionally, they added a text call to action to the mobile version of their site.

WillowTree created a flexible grid to represent customer logos. The grid shrinks from five columns on computers to four columns on tablets and two columns on cell phones. The area above the fold is converted from two columns on a desktop to one column on a mobile device, and the call-to-action button moves from the area next to the copy to the area below it.

WillowTree emphasizes the importance of storytelling. The website incorporates storytelling elements through engaging content, visuals and interactive elements. This approach helps potential customers understand the value and impact of WillowTree's services.

12. Stripe

Stripe is the leading online payment processing platform. Stripe's adaptive design starts with an adaptive layout that easily adapts to different screen sizes and resolutions. Whether the site is accessed from a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone, the layout adapts easily.

The menu structure is well organized and users can easily access different sections. The adaptive design ensures that navigation elements are appropriately transformed depending on the device, maintaining ease of use and improving the overall user experience.

Stripe is optimized for mobile devices, providing a user-friendly experience with intuitive gestures, adaptive menus and simple forms. Users can easily navigate, explore product offerings, access developer resources and make payments on their smartphones or tablets.

The site shows the value of its offerings and features its services with concise content. The layout adapts to different screen sizes, ensuring that the content is user-friendly, making it easy for users to appreciate Stripe's advantages over other sites.

13. Dribbble

Dribbble, a self-promotional and social media platform, excels at adaptive web design. The site shows a good example of a flexible space that is comfortable to browse and actively responsive to all devices.

Dribbble uses a flexible grid that works based on screen size. The grid responds to user actions, adapting the layout to grid columns that shift depending on the device. Because of this, designers can customize the elements displayed in the grid to optimize the visibility and number of elements. As a result, users can enjoy a quality interface that doesn't look cluttered or disorganized.

Users accessing the site from a 13-inch laptop or PC screen will see a 4×3 grid, while those using a smaller screen will see the same portfolio presented in a single column format.

To keep their website from seeming cluttered on mobile devices, Dribbble has removed several elements. For example, photos are no longer linked to their creator, and the number of views, comments and likes are no longer embedded under each item. They also hid the menu behind the hamburger icon and removed the search bar.

14. CodePen

CodePen is a popular community and code editor. One of the distinguishing features of CodePen is the interactive code editor. The site gives a real-time code preview, allowing developers to see the results of their changes in real time. The adaptive design ensures that the code editor is functional on all devices, so developers can experiment with the code without problems.

The site offers sharing and commenting. This makes it easy for developers to collaborate. CodePen allows you to interact with popular tools and libraries for web development. The site integrates easily with frameworks such as React, Vue.js and Bootstrap. Thanks to this, developers can quickly and conveniently test code.

Additionally, CodePen offers tutorials and special collections. In them, you can find useful information that will help in learning.

These and other features set CodePen apart from other code editors. CodePen has become a versatile platform for demonstrating your skills, collaborating with others, and learning from the community.

15. GitHub

GitHub is a well-known platform for version control and collaborative software development. Whether used on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone, the site dynamically adapts its layout and functionality, providing a smooth and intuitive interface.

The site's interface is designed with simplicity and clarity in mind. GitHub's adaptive design is organized, making it easy for users to navigate through repositories, code, and project-related information. The use of clear typography, intuitive icons, and well-structured menus improves the overall UX, allowing users to easily collaborate and manage their software projects.

One of the features of GitHub's adaptive design is its comprehensive version control system. Developers can create repositories, commit changes, and branch and merge code, making it easy to track and manage different versions of their projects. The version control system remains accessible and functional on all devices, allowing developers to collaborate and contribute to projects effectively.

GitHub offers features such as bug fix requests, code reviews, and issue tracking that allow developers to collaborate and coordinate with other contributors.

It's worth noting the easy integration with additional development tools and services. The site works with popular code editors, continuous integration platforms, and project management tools.

GitHub gives access to hosting and managing project documentation, wikis and README files. The adaptive design streamlines the presentation of documentation, making it easy for users to create, update, and access valuable project information.

On the site, users can create personal profiles, showcase their projects, and contribute to the community. This gives developers the opportunity to showcase their skills and contributions.


Our selection of sites shows how adaptive design and development can improve usability, increase user engagement, and ultimately contribute to the success of a website.

Nowadays, most users prefer to visit using gadgets. The mobile audience is growing, and with it, so is the competition in the market and the selectivity of users. It is very important that websites provide a quality experience regardless of the device. With adaptive design and layout, we can ensure that websites not only look amazing, but also function flawlessly. These metrics affect usability, site speed, ranking and sales.

Whether it's an adaptive e-commerce platform, a portfolio or startup website, it's important to tailor the user experience to the right target audience. After all, our goal is to deliver outstanding designs that not only meet and exceed the requirements of our clients and users. By taking full advantage of adaptive design and development capabilities, you can create stunning websites that resonate with users and increase brand awareness.

Igor Co-founder, CEO, Head of Design