Web design is an ever changing landscape that will create new, convenient ways to cater to its reader. Now that the majority of United States mobile phone users are relying on their phones to access the web, creating multi-purpose websites is crucial. The new way to achieve this is by using RWD (Responsive Web Design) and AWD (Adaptive Web Design). RWD and AWD are able to visually display and automatically alter web pages with the correct layering on desktop and mobile devices. RWD is the technique for laying out the design, whereas AWD is the number of layers that go into RWD. Adaptive Web Design in the past was the pre-cursor to Responsive Web Design. It typically referred to websites that would scale to fit different screen sizes but did so using just a few hard coded designs. These types of sites basically had 3 different designs. Whereas, responsive web design is a more fluid, flexible design approach that scales up to fit any sized screen.
Websites using AWD are sites that usually have shopping carts or cater to different types of device readers. According to websitemagazine.com, the following websites rely on AWD: Avenue 32, an online luxury shopping site who wanted their customers to have a convenient shopping experience by utilizing online shopping on multiple mobile devices; USA Today, who wanted to create a richer news experience by creating a tailored experience with screen size and operating systems in mind; Amazon, who embraced ADW to encourage readers to use their mobile devices and allow them to use “Amazon.com Full Site” on their mobile devices; Apple, who is in the process of changing their website based on device type with the use of AWD; and About.com, along with many other news websites who wanted the ability to load web pages quickly and cater to different devices used by their readers.
This type of landscaping is the new wave of web design as technology grows and is used on more than one device. Companies like Microsoft and Apple are only going to be pushing the limit as far as technology goes. For example, we have seen the pattern of new iPhone and iPad releases; it’s almost guaranteed that every other year a newly updated device will come out. Web designers are having to keep up with the new trends so platforms end up compatible for its readers.