The importance of responsive content design in a mobile-first world

To say that there’s been a mobile revolution is something of an understatement. Tasks that once required a well-equipped office can now be done anywhere, on mobile. 

Fast Facts on Mobile First  

Mobile users expect a seamless web-surfing experience

“You’ve probably experienced yourself how frustrating it is for a user to try to expand the content on a website by widening their fingers on the screen because it is unreadable. When the navigation is not easy users will soon get bored, so you need to offer optimized content.”

A word of warning from the Content Intelligence Network who advise, “You need to design and rethink blogs and websites to make them responsive, able to react and adapt to any screen resolution.” 

And that’s where responsive content design comes in. 

But what is responsive content?

Responsive content has been designed to automatically scale and reshape to suit the screen size of the reader’s device. Elements like text, images and media do not extend beyond the screen’s width. And this allows readers to enjoy content without the distraction of panning left and right to read it.  

With responsive content:

  • To read more, readers simply scroll down 
  • To go to the next page, they just swipe 

Responsive content simplifies the reader experience, making it easier for them to consume content and giving the marketer a greater potential return on their content creation investment.

The challenge of creating responsive content

To date, the creation of responsive content has proved challenging. Creating responsive pages – with so many variables to factor into the content’s position – has been a technically complex process, historically, from both a design and a coding perspective. 

The process has been collaborative, too: 

  • With marketers creating the content
  • Then designers laying-out that content into an engaging format
  • Before coders can convert those lay-outs into web pages  

 And this way of working has a tendency to cause bottlenecks because different functions and departments have different priorities and resource pressures. In the past, content-creation opportunities – particularly those that are issue-responsive or time-sensitive for a different reason – may have been missed. 

To solve this problem, innovative online platforms have now been developed to facilitate the creation of responsive publications without the need for design or coding. 

Harnessing the knowledge of designers and developers, the best platforms include comprehensive libraries of pre-designed components, pages and publication templates for marketers to access and create top-notch brochures, infographics or magazines within minutes.

Why does responsive content matter? 

The content experience, in the age of mobile, can vary greatly across channels and devices with some proving less than slick. Not all content sits comfortably on static web pages, for example, or on social platforms. And digital documents like PDFs can feel clunky and dated. But in a mobile-centric world, where content is often consumed on mobile first, it’s crucial that content is optimized for every platform.  

Over 5 years ago, Google announced that mobile-friendliness would be a ranking factor in its search algorithm.  The more mobile-friendly content is, the more highly it will score. And the greater the ranking, the more site traffic. 

How to create responsive content experiences

Groundbreaking platforms build the technical knowledge of designers and developers into intuitive editors. These platforms allow the creation of engaging, digital content experiences that are rich with features like: media, animations and form capture. 

So marketers – without any design or coding skills – can get content into their audience’s hands quickly and in a format that ensures the highest quality reader experience. And the new platforms couldn’t be simpler to use:   

  1. Decide on the number of publication pages 
  2. Select an appropriate pre-designed template 
  3. Apply company branding  
  4. Drag and drop elements like text, images and multimedia 
  5. Click publish

 And – with platforms that create bot-friendly HTML5 and CSS content – publications are maximized for SEO, too.