Why should #highered rethink content for responsive web design?

June 15th, 2012 Karine Joly 3 Comments

I swear. This is my last post related to responsive web design… for this week :-)

In preparation for the Higher Ed Redesign Web Design Summit taking place next week (June 19-21, 2012), I had the pleasure to listen to Sara Wachter-Boettcher, the keynote, yesterday.

Sara is one of the leading expert in content for responsive web design and is wrapping up a book to be published in a few months by Rosenfeld Media, Content Everywhere. I interviewed Sara a few weeks ago about the topic she will present about next Thursday but I thought you would also enjoy a short excerpt of her talk where she explains why it’s important to rethink content for RWD. This excerpt was recorded during the rehearsal yesterday.

Stewart Foss, founder of eduStyle and instructor of our 4-week online course on responsive web design for higher education will also present at this online summit next week. If you didn’t catch the excerpt of his rehearsal I shared earlier, here it is again.



There are just a few of seats available for the summit, but you can still grab one of them for your team by registering at higheredexperts.com/rwdsummit

3 Responses

  1. Brett Pollak says:

    The video about our UC San Diego home page made me smile a bit :)

    As most Web Managers in higher know all too well, we live in an environment with hundreds of websites maintained mostly in a distributed way.

    Currently about half links off the UCSD home page go to page that’s responsive. And we’re in the process of converting sites in our CMS to utilize responsive design. This should take care of the balance so folks get a responsive experience as they traverse down from the home page.

    Responsive design is still in it’s infancy. We’ve taken an approach to jump in now and evolve as we learn; to educate our campus IT partners– and to provide templates in and outside our CMS for them to use.

    We’re embracing this new approach to web development and excited about all the great examples that are emerging.

    Brett Pollak
    Director, Campus Web Office
    UC San Diego
    @brettcpollak

  2. Karine Joly says:

    Thanks for providing context, Brett.

    I know that UCSD is doing a really great job with its responsive web design approach as an early adopter in higher education. Sara used UCSD merely as an example of what’s out there. I think the point she is trying to make is the fact that we are so early in most RWD implementations that a lot of work needs to be done.

    So, please don’t take this as a critique of your work – I know that the same can be said about ND and many other institutions who have embraced RWD.

    And, just to make sure you and I are good, I’d love to offer you a free invitation to join the summit next week. Please reach out to me via email ASAP so I can make sure you get the invite.

  3. Hi Brett! I think you and I are actually on the same page—I was worried that bit would seem unfair out of context (and from my practice reel!), so I’m sorry if it did.

    What I’m really getting at in the talk isn’t that UCSD should have done something different, but that it’s hard to scale responsive design for some of the exact reasons you mention—distributed teams, multiple separate sites, etc. My perspective is that content strategy, and particularly focusing on structuring content and defining content types, can help make it a lot easier to implement responsive decisions that work across more sites, more deeply. I firmly believe that if responsive is treated like just a design-and-dev matter, it’s going to be hard for organizations to get past these hurdles and get to scale.

    Anyway, thanks for commenting, and I do hope you can make the summit.

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