Sunday, 24 February 2013

Responsive design strategy

Jared Spool has written a really nice article pulling together the key considerations when devising a strategy to achieve a responsive design - a site layout and content structure approach that adapts according to the device your website visitor is using.

I previously wrote about content strategy considerations for CMS design, which included a primer on responsive design which while good, was basically an overview of what it actually is.

See my previous post: CMS design needs content strategy (October 2012)

In this article Jared pulls in elements of other experts' work, reflecting on what they've said and suggesting tactics towards a responsive design strategy that avoids common content, usability and performance issues.

While his tactics are not revelations (establish the breakpoints at which the layout changes, optimise page load speed and image size) it's what he says about content and page elements that I found most useful.

Again, probably most of this has been said before, but Jared has pulled it together, and draws on the expertise of Luke Wroblewski (Mobile First author) and KarenMcGrane (Content Strategy for Mobile author) along the way.

As ever, research is crucial. Jared says:
...understand which functions are important and which are nice-to-have. Using a well-understood set of scenarios can grease the skids for the discussions about what to cut and what to keep in. Without that research and those scenarios, teams likely find themselves arguing with opinions and struggling with every design decision. Shortcutting user research is a near-term cost-cutting strategy that will cost the design team in the long run, once the opinion wars start...

Devising a Strategy for Responsive Design - article by Jared Spool for

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