Responsive design, responsibly

My recessive geek gene appears to wake up when I think of this new possibility of cascading the content down to different devices; does give me goosebumps. All the HTML5 action and the CSS wizardry. Nice.

A great explanation from Smashing Magazine “Responsive Web design is the approach that suggests that design and development should respond to the user’s behavior and environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids and layouts, images and an intelligent use of CSS media queries. As the user switches from their laptop to iPad, the website should automatically switch to accommodate for resolution, image size and scripting abilities” Read their detailed post here

Back to my other side of the brain here – Prior to consideration, a deep discovery and inventory of existing content today, versus proposed, is certainly not only warranted, but perhaps a must.

A first step is a dive into your analytic’s package which may uncover some gems focusing on the intent of the user. Next, inventory any tools you may have on your site. Then, inventory all your content and begin to categorize – organic traffic v/s onsite v/s google v/s social traffic

3 T’s (text, tools and tasks) will eventually emerge. Juxtapose these against market research/ethnographic studies/Customer experience/Consumer insights and it will all begin to make more than a pretty picture at this point. Exciting patterns should now begin to emerge.
Keep your proposed content ambitions in check at this point (easy to slip these in).

Now, align these patterns with the proposed priorities to the discovery; this time juxtapose the findings against engagement, acquisition and retention. Yep, we are good. Think of your vertical (crucial) and what your customers want (include the the C/X team). You should have most of your answers to your responsive design do’s and don’ts at this juncture.

Establish a matrix This resulting matrix should reveal the desktop, tablet and smart phone 3Ts by the final matrixed priority. It is an artful science. There is no one size fits all. It is an exercise which requires lots of conversations, analysis, and back and forth with the content strategist and the analytic’s champ.

To climate control these experiences by devices, these exercises are prudent to perform to determine what size fits you.

Do share if you have achieved success or other strategies you may have employed.


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