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Is your CMS ready to respond?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

People today are using more devices and screens than ever before, from traditional desktop PCs and laptops through to a variety of smartphones, tablets and consoles.

Our research Developing a Mobile Strategy revealed that customers are now less forgiving of poor mobile experience, but only 30% of companies reported having a mobile optimised site or app, let alone a site optimised for tablet. It just goes to show how many companies are still lagging behind the advance of technology and customer adoption. And to keep up with the trends it is increasingly difficult for marketers to update and change content, and for companies to create and run multiple sites, whilst delivering great customer experience.

Ready to respond?

One of the recent trends that is getting a lot of attention in trying to address this challenge is Responsive Web Design (RWD), an approach that says the design and development of a website should respond automatically to the user’s behaviour and environment based on screen size, device and orientation.

This is fast becoming the new best practice. At EPiServer we encourage our customers to use this for greater efficiency and we’ve been working with Bootstrap, a flexible grid framework created by the Twitter team. Based on responsive CSS, it allows you to ensure that the content will adapt to the right screen size accordingly. So when the screen gets too “narrow” the content will automatically go from a horizontal layout to a vertical one.

You can also choose to show or hide content depending on your resolution. If you are browsing on a mobile, you might want to hide large images or banners and just let visitors see the text and the main message, showing only the relevant information and helping the visitor get to the important stuff quickly. In addition, we have combined CSS and html 5 with the Bootstrap framework so the content looks great in every screen size.

To sum it up here’s how CMS can leverage responsive design to create maximum impact and empower content editors:

Faster time to market with automatic design and layout

Since everything is adaptive and happens by "magic" with responsive design, it’s quicker for web content editors to create and change the design/layout without the need to go through IT. Just place the content, whether it’s an image, text or video, on the page being edited and everything will be automatically adapt to the set brand guidelines. For example, you will be able to see what a full width banner versus a half width content block look like as you create. It gives the content editor or marketer the freedom to create great looking websites without worrying about template and layout issues. This greatly reduces the time and resource required in the editing process and helps marketers focus on the main message.

Create a seamless experience across screen sizes from one platform

Based on the responsive design principle, every screen should be made equal and given the attention it deserves to thrive. Desktop PCs, laptops, mobile and tablet are all key parts of the user experience today, and with increasing Wi-Fi adoption everyone is online, everywhere and anytime. Google’s research on multiscreen highlighted that 67% of us start shopping on one device and continue on another.

A responsive CMS should allow content editors and marketers to create a consistent experience across multiple screens from one platform, knowing that all content will be rendered perfectly no matter where your visitor comes from. Everything should be automatically adapted and optimised for smartphones, tablets and desktops, taking away the tedious task of managing multiple enterprise sites and enhancing the overall message consistency.

The responsive CMS approach is all about "content without boundaries" and seamless experience. By making multisite and multichannel management easier to attain, it gives marketers and content editors more time to focus on the quality of their content and customer context, which ultimately leads to improved site conversion and better results.

To find out more about the how CMS and responsive design can work together check out our new EPiServer 7 CMS. *This blogpost was originally published by the Web Managers Group.


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