Just a quick question on Web Application attribute, if responsive (which mainly stems from web design) means website that adapts to different screen size, then the closest term I can find for Web Application which is highly 'responsive' to the user input (click, touch, etc.) is interactive? One might call it 'native-like' experience, or great user experience but I find these still too vague.

Well here is what I have at the moment:

Responsive Web Application refers to web applications which adopt responsive design, i.e. changes it layout on different screen sizes to increase user experience (supposedly).

Interactive Web Application refers to web application which has a lot interactivity to it, i.e. elements that can receive user inputs and reacts accordingly.

Native-like Web Application refers to web application that offers the same speed and performance as native application (either desktop software or mobile native apps).

I might have missed the right term, would love input on this?

  • Based on my quick Google search on 'responsive web application', all results will show responsive website/web application design. And I am writing a short research paper that covers both 'responsive web design' and 'responsive web application', just don't want to confuse the reader.
    – JofryHS
    Feb 10, 2014 at 17:15
  • 2
    I'd mainly associate "native-like" with following platform UI conventions instead of web conventions. Feb 10, 2014 at 18:26

1 Answer 1


As a programmer, I interpret "interactive" to mean a web page that responds to the user without requiring a postback. Postbacks are expensive; they require a round-trip to the server, and a re-rendering of the page.

As an example, consider an auto website that has the fields Year, Make and Model. In a traditional, postback-style page, you would have to redraw the page each time you chose one of these fields, because the next field's dropdown list depends on the value the user selects from the previous field. In modern web pages, you just AJAX updated dropdown values for the next field to the page, without requiring a postback. This improves the user experience by improving the interactivity of the web page.

Similarly, Javascript can be used to create a high level of interactivity on a web page, because the Javascript is run locally in the browser, and not on the server after postback.

  • +1 - Agreed. Interactive tends to mean, in the context of web applications, the ability for users to continuously interact with the website with saving state to the database hidden behind the scenes (although most usually have some way for the user to force saving of the state). Feb 10, 2014 at 20:16

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