3 Steps to Extend Responsive Design to Content

  • Chester

Responsive_designResponsive design has already become a standard for the heart of most organisations’ online presence: the website. A webpage not optimised for mobile is a webpage nobody views.

Which, by extension, makes responsiveness critical for content marketers. Fail to give our readers the best possible viewing experience, and we lose them. Our microsites, blogs, and the like can’t be seen as a disjointed mess of images or microscopic text squiggles. Common sense, but let’s go a step further.

In paying attention to the responsiveness of our content delivery platforms, are we neglecting the responsiveness of the content itself?

1. Don’t forget content strategy

When planning to distribute content, let’s not fail to account for whether it belongs on the platforms we selected. This has to be done before kicking off with content production.

A simple example is mobile videos. Watching videos on the go may have become only slightly less common than breathing, but this Business Insider piece nails three points that might not be as common:

  • Mobile video isn’t just for tablets – many still watch video on their smartphones
  • Most mobile video viewers prefer ‘snack’-style videos – only a few minutes long
  • Key drivers for mobile viewing are filling time and catching up on bookmarks

That last point suggests many watch videos on their phones when they have little else on hand – say, during life’s ‘downtimes’, like while commuting or in the queue at the clinic.

2. Think beyond the platform

For such viewers, it might not do to just have videos that play well on small screens. They would also have to be short, or snappy enough to encourage later viewing – or both.

Textual pieces like articles and blog posts also deserve looking at.

Writing for web readers on their desktop browsers is one thing, but mobile readers don’t have a 20” monitor for their eyes to graze on. So porting the same piece to mobile without any restructuring might lessen its staying power, even with responsive design incorporated.

3. Cater to viewer tastes

Since creating different versions of a content piece for multiple platforms is not always cost-effective, we need a change in approach to adapting content. Off the bat, we should adapt not to the platform, but to the consumers.

The sea changes caused by mobile proliferation extend to content placement as well. This is something we need to think about.

Sure, responsive design makes our content more digestible on mobiles and tablets – but, in the first place, is that content best digested there?


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