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Learn adaptive design with online courses and programs

Adaptive design is a popular approach to web design that ensures your website looks great across all devices, from desktops to smart devices. Learn more about adaptive design in edX courses.

What is adaptive design?

Adaptive website design is a process used to build a user interface (UI) that works seamlessly across multiple devices and platforms by adapting to various screen sizes and resolutions. Different devices have different requirements for their UIs. For example, a smartwatch UI differs from that of a laptop. With adaptive design, your web page will display properly whether on a smartphone, smartwatch, desktop, laptop, iPad, or other device.

Adaptive websites work by selecting from a series of static layouts to load whichever design best fits each device. These static layouts are premade in multiple versions that fit common screen sizes, which helps minimize load times. Adaptive website design can be contrasted with responsive design, an alternative that uses fluid layouts to dynamically adjust contents to fit the device.Footnote 1

Adaptive Design | Introduction Image

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Adaptive design course curriculum

Fundamental knowledge about user experience (UX) and other design concepts may be beneficial before enrolling in an adaptive design tutorial. If you are new to the field of UX, you may want a course that covers topics such as:

  • Design principles for colors and typography

  • Popular UI tools

  • UX versus UI

  • Page elements such as buttons and menus

  • Site navigation design

You can also learn how to conduct product research and spot user insights, study users’ behavior on a web page, and gain practical experience with UX prototyping and testing. Intermediate and advanced courses on design thinking can teach you how to integrate UX research and how to apply a user-centered design approach. Some courses also cover how to create live applications with HTML, CSS, jQuery, and JavaScript.

If you are interested in learning about design, edX offers a wide array of educational opportunities. A boot camp can provide flexible, hands-on learning for those who want to upskill quickly, while executive education courses are designed for busy professionals. You can also pursue a more comprehensive curriculum through a bachelor’s degree program or, for more advanced learners, a master’s degree program. Find the right learning path for you with edX.

Explore adaptive design jobs 

The field of adaptive design is vast. For visual thinkers, creative storytellers, and art lovers, web design can be a rewarding career. Jobs that may use adaptive design include: 

  • Web designer: Create visually attractive and intuitive websites optimized for various screen dimensions (i.e., for mobile users, desktop versions) and resolutions.Footnote 2

  • Web developer: Develop and maintain websites with programming languages like HTML and CSS.Footnote 3

  • WordPress developer: Create custom websites and themes with WordPress CMS and platform.Footnote 4

  • Web software engineer: Develop and maintain complex web apps with programming languages like Ruby, Java, and Python.Footnote 5

  • UI/UX designer: Create user interfaces and experiences that are accessible and intuitive.Footnote 6

While the end goal for all professionals in adaptive design is to enhance the user experience, their daily activities can differ. Whatever roles you choose, a strong skill set is important. 

Web designers and web developers work with CSS and HTML and are often proficient in popular adaptive UI design frameworks. However, a web software engineer may need additional experience with JavaScript frameworks such as React or Angular. If you’d like to take this path, a coding boot camp can help. A UI/UX designer may require knowledge of usability testing and prototypes that they can learn in a UX/UI boot camp. For overall education on digital marketing and how to develop your career there, you could enroll in digital marketing boot camps. Tailor your learning to your needs with edX. 

How to use adaptive design in your career

There are many ways to use adaptive design principles in your career. For example, developers can use adaptive designs to ensure their code and development practices provide a seamless user experience. They can also collaborate with designers to create adaptive web design templates and optimize designs for user comfort at any screen size. Even content creators can validate whether their content is optimized and accessible for all users. Marketing professionals can check whether their campaigns fit various screen resolutions. 

Build better experiences for your users. Study adaptive design with edX. 

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