Responsive Site Design
April 2012: Launch of first responsive site (hfid.bentley.edu)
The Digital Engagement Office worked with Bill Gribbons to define the scope of a new program website to support a tech-savvy audience of prospective students.
We recognized the site had to render will across all mobile devices, whether a prospective student was accessing it from a smartphone, a laptop/desktop or a tablet. It wasn’t going to be enough to create a desktop version of the site and then “make it mobile.” We had to make mobile the starting point.
Responsive web design was first coined by Ethan Marcotte (check out the illustrative article in A List Apart) advocating for flexible standards in the web design community. With new mobile devices being released on a regular basis (Microsoft Surface anyone?), web designers and developers can either choose to:
- Ignore mobile entirely (yup, that happens)
- Create multiple mobile themes for various devices such as iPads, smartphones, Samsung Galaxy, desktops, etc. (no savvy developer likes one-offs!)
- Build a responsive site that is optimized for multiple screen widths and will scale as new products are released with minimal effort
Any surprise which option won out?
As we update additional sites with heavy traffic from mobile devices (Undergraduate and Graduate Admissions), we’ll be adopting responsive site design to ensure visitors can access these sites no matter what device they’re using.
Learn more: Visit hfid.bentley.edu on your desktop, tablet and/or smartphone.