In 2014, many companies realized for the first time, the importance of responsive website design. Quite simply, Responsive Website Design detects the device that is requesting the page and re-sizes the output to fit the screen size.
Essentially, Responsive Website Design does this by stacking columns on top of one another, so a 3 column layout would display as 1 column and 3 rows.
Adaptive Website Design will again detect the device requesting the page, but will serve back only design or content elements that the designer has designated for display.
This means that a 6 image scrolling slider on a homepage could be tagged to be omitted on a smartphone or replaced with simple text or a smaller, optimized image.
Adaptive Website Design will require the coder to provide efficient code that queries the content database for adaptive tags and serve that content. The Web Developer will need to configure a page or specific content to render adaptively. The Content Manager will need to determine what an end user is expecting to see when they request a page, and deliver based on that expectation.
This means that coding, presentation & content must work together for this to work effectively.
Web Development tools and Content Management Systems will attempt to integrate this into a seamless process.
As we continually adapt to how, where and when we process content and information, web design will continue to evolve.