Art of the possible

The final day of Association Media & Publishing's annual meeting included "Be responsive", a session on mobile web design. Presented by Debbie Bates-Schrott (Bates Creative Group) and Erin Pressley (The Association for Convenience and Fuel Retailing), the hour-long discussion outlined how Pressley's association had adopted a responsive-design solution to support its mobile users.

Edited June 13 to add: After I wrote this post, Bates-Schrott put a summary of her talk online. In it, she provides both an overview and a set of criteria to help publishers think about responsive design.

Part of the talk addressed the ongoing question, "Native app or responsive design to support mobile?" To help illustrate how HTML can support some robust applications, Bates-Schrott and Pressley pointed to a membership web site, CSS-Tricks, that also offers a library of free resources.

The web site features blog posts on a wide range of CSS (cascading style sheets) topics, but it goes beyond that to offer:

That's the free part. Membership ($20 a month) provides access to a set of tutorials and allows user downloads. I'm not trying to turn blog readers into CSS experts, but the information available on the site makes it well worth reviewing.

In publishing, senior executives and mid-level managers are often asked to approve development efforts for projects that presume an understanding of the strengths and limitations of things like HTML and CSS. This site can help show what's possible (a lot!), allowing a much richer conversation ahead of the next project.

A bit of disclosure: In 2011 and 2012, I served with both Bates-Schrott and Pressley on the board of Association Media & Publishing. Other than giving me the idea and a link to the site (very much appreciated), neither had any involvement in the development of this post.

About Brian O'Leary

Founder and principal of Magellan Media Consulting, Brian O’Leary helps enterprises with media and publishing components capitalize on the power of content. A veteran of more than 30 years in the publishing industry and a prolific content producer himself, Brian leverages the breadth and depth of his experience to deliver innovative content solutions.

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