What is Responsive Web Design?

Responsive Web Design is an approach where the design content responds to the user — their environment and behaviour according to their device, screen size and orientation. It should always provide the optimum experience no matter the device!

An illustration showing the same website layout on different platforms.

The illustration above shows an example of this. On smaller screen sizes, less content may be shown to de-clutter the view or even removed completely. The orientation of the device is also taken into account, holding the device landscape may allow more room for more content to be shown.

THIS IS NOT AN APP. IT CANNOT BE DOWNLOADED FROM GOOGLE PLAY OR APP STORE.


So What is Native App Design?

Native app design is an application which has been written in a specific language for a specific device. So essentially an app written for the iPhone would have to be developed in a different language if it wants to work on a an Android. Double the work!

Infographic showing Native app design.

This is a proper app however, and is available for download on Google Play and App store.


Pros for Native App Design:

  1. Takes advantage of the device’s native APIs operating system such as push notifications, camera, and in-app purchases.
  2. Easier to use and perform quicker.
  3. Can be easily found and downloaded on the App store and google Play.
  4. Fully integrated and flexible. [clickToTweet tweet=”Responsive Web Design is an approach where the design content responds to the user.” quote=”Responsive Web Design is an approach where the design content responds to the user.” theme=”style5″]

Pros for Responsive Web Design:

  1. Cannot be downloaded on the App store or Google Play.
  2. One website design that looks equally well on all types of devices.
  3. Takes a lot less time and money to create.
  4. Adapts automatically according to platform, orientation and screen size.

Cons for Native App Design:

  1. Can be costly and time consuming if you want the application available on multiple platforms.
  2. More complex to design and needs regular updates.

Cons for Responsive Web Design:

  1. Sometimes web pages are scaled down leaving some areas to become inaccessible. Important features may be hidden or removed when scaling down for smaller screens.
  2. Much slower to use.
  3. As they are not real mobile applications, they are not available on the App store or Google play. This also means that the device’s native features are not integrated so can lose the look and feel of a brand majorly.

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