WebWorks, makers of ePublisher help authoring solution, recently released its latest white paper “Responsive UX Design,” which provides a comprehensive overview of the responsive design approach, and suggests how technical communication professionals will be impacted by it.
According to WebWorks, “Projections state that by the year 2015, more users will obtain their online content via mobile devices than by desktop computing. With the vastly growing diversity in today’s mobile market, it has become impossible to focus on any one device in particular. To be able to reach the largest part of your audience, your outputs need to have cross-device compatibility. Responsive UX Design is the answer to publishing in cross-device, multi-platform compatibility while maintaining the simplicity of single source code.”
The white paper defines Responsive UX Design as “a method or set of techniques used to increase the quality of the user experience when viewing browser-based information.” Before the advent of responsive UX design techniques, technical writers, web designers and other content developers had to rely on complex strategies that often incorporated a completely separate set of content components specifically designed and written for small-screen mobile devices. WebWorks refers to responsive UX design as a “single source” approach to delivering an optimal user experience on any device.
WebWorks’ white paper presents a checklist for developers to use in determining whether current content is responsive. It also points out that content that is HTML5 and CSS3 compliant is not automatically responsive, but rather provides additional “building blocks” that can be used to formulate responsive content.
The paper emphasizes the importance of using a help authoring solution that supports workflows for building single source content, which in turn eliminates duplicate effort in creating and maintaining a separate mobile website. Responsive UX design also supports search engine optimization effort,s as recommended by both Google and Bing, by allowing the engines to search content more efficiently.