February 01, 2012
A school's website has become the primary source of information for communicating to parents, teachers, staff and students. As a result, schools are forced to think about how content is delivered to devices such as iPhones, smartphones, iPads, kindles, and a variety of other portable devices. For many educational organizations, creating a website version for each new device would either be technically impossible or very expensive. So we pose the question, what is the best option to handle a variety of mobile devices? Responsive web design.
Responsive web design is an approach that suggests a website should respond to the user’s environment based on screen size, platform and orientation. In laymen terms, if you're on a smartphone, you get the optimal version for the smartphone, and so on. The practice consists of a mix of flexible grids, layouts, images and an intelligent use of cascading style sheets (CSS). As the user changes from their laptop to a tablet or other mobile device, the website automatically switches to accommodate for screen and image size, and any type of device-specific user interface (navigation, buttons, etc). This would eliminate the need for a different design and development phase for each new gadget on the market. Most importantly, the content is pulled from a single source making it easy to manage.
Make it easy for your visitors
Figure A shows how a web page is viewed on three different platforms – computers, tablets and smartphones.
There are many reasons why this technology shift should be considered even if you are not a tech-head or an avid web junkie. If you are in charge of communicating to your school’s community, then it’s time to start thinking about how your school’s community communicates.
The development team at Innersync is full speed ahead integrating responsive web design in the Campusuite CMS platform. This will allow our clients to continue their focus on creating content and engaging their audiences without the worry of needing to create a new design for the new devices that come to market.
We would love to hear your thoughts on what the future holds for computers, tablets and smartphones.
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