by Taras Kim - November 22, 2018

Web designs offer variability in terms of fixed, fluid, adaptive and responsive web designs. There are pros and cons of every web design and not every design is particularly perfect for each website. Different websites have different requirements in terms of usage and viewership.

If you are using fluid layout it allows specifying sizes in percentages instead of pixels and when the screen size changes the proportion of elements will remain the same. The layout is more flexible than the fixed one. However, on small screens, the columns get narrow and very tall cells do not look good. If elements like video and images are added that should stay of a fixed size then this combination can get weird. It is quite impossible to design an interface that is appropriate for both large and small screens. It gets messy on small screens and way too empty on larger ones.

If you are using an adaptive layout then depending on the name you can get various versions of the layout which are displayed based on the screen size of the viewer. You can put it this way that there are several fixed layouts that can be displayed appropriately depending on the screen size of the viewer. The designer gets more certainty while the user can have an optimal experience. The website with an adaptive layout will load fast and there would not be many adjustments to be made according to the size and position of the elements.  

Responsive web layout takes the best of both worlds of fluid and adaptive designs and there are several breakpoints that can divide the all possible screen sizes in ranges. The interface has a slightly different layout that depends on the size of the screen of the viewer. The elements also stretch or shrink according to the screen size and responsive layout provides a custom experience for the viewer. Responsive layouts are all around these days and customers are expecting it anyway as most of them view the websites from cell phones.  


➢ It can withstand the variety of screen sizes. It avoids the messy screen or emptiness.
➢ This web layout is quite user-friendly.
➢ This layout is perfect for designers who love both fluid and adaptive designs as it offers the pros of both fluid and adaptive web layout.
➢ Everything grows larger or smaller according to the proportions of the screen.


➢ The responsive web layout can create a big problem with usability regardless of all the pros discussed above.
➢ It requires more design and testing effort than adaptive layouts.
➢ It takes a lot of savvy to get the right layout for all the users.
➢ Responsive web layout is quite difficult to be created as compared to the other layouts i.e. fixed, fluid and adaptive. It is the combination of both fluid and adaptive layout that brings an extra bit of usability which not always worth it.
➢ It requires supplementary style sheets and cheats depending on the specifics of the layouts.

Taras Kim

I'm Online Marketing and Web Development Specialist already for 7 years and dreaming to write a book.

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