Why Responsive Design Puts More Pressure on the Content First Method.

07/30/13 Kristin

With the rise of responsiveness, a lot of time has been spent talking about design. I get it. It’s the design that has to shift between screen sizes. It’s the pixels that have to be pushed, and reorganized, and whipped around to give the user the best experience. But I feel like something’s being left out of the conversation.

Content is Still as Important as it Ever Was
Just because the design changes from screen to screen doesn’t mean what’s being said on them is any less important. The user being able to view the website comfortably is only the first step in retention. After they realize the site will work on their tablet or mobile (which people come to expect anyway these days), they get down to the nitty gritty – the content. Information is the whole reason they’re there in the first place, right? That hasn’t changed.

Content Has to Adapt, Too!
As the screen shrinks, the less the user sees. Which means the words they do see have to be strategically placed, and incredibly purposeful. Your headline has to have more punch. Your intro has to get the point across quickly and effectively. When you only have a small amount of space to prove yourself, every character counts. So obviously this changes the way you plan the content for your site. Or at least it should. I’m not saying to write inverted pyramid style, but you might think through the first couple paragraphs on each of your pages more than you would if you knew you had the entire desktop to make your case.

Eliminate Wordiness
Here at Paste, we’re all about including only what is necessary, and leaving out the fluff. Organizing content for a responsive site might help you do the same thing. If you’re okay with content being so far down on a page that nobody gets to it on a smaller screen size, do you even need it?

As fast as technology evolves, the world is still catching up with the absolute best way to do a responsive site. In fact, a lot of what’s being done right now involves taking existing sites and responsifying them. This process is different than creating responsively from scratch – but the foundation for creating a website is still the same. Plan the content well, and the rest will have a much easier time falling into place.