September 10 - 12, 2013

A Content First Approach to Responsive Design


A Content First Approach to Responsive Design



Understand the key components of responsive web design and how to employ a content first approach when designing your next website.

In the world of web design we talk a lot about user experience, content strategy, responsive design, and mobile first. Yet in practice, these are not separate disciplines. We find ourselves needing to take a more content first approach to create successful, scalable, and sophisticated responsive designs. We’ve had to develop new processes for creating repeatable solutions that can scale up to support communities of web authors and site builders.

For us, it’s about patterns. In this session we will share with you repeatable design patterns and specific techniques that will transform your responsive design process.

We will tease apart what we mean by responsive design and cover fundamental principles of a user centered, content first approach. We will give you practical ways you can apply this strategy to your next website, and we’ll discuss how content first can help us solve design problems for entire communities. We hope that you’ll walk away with a new understanding of how a content first approach can transform the way we design and build.

What you’ll walk away with:
- Responsive design patterns to help you in your design process
- Examples of common layout scenarios with responsive design patterns to support them
- A flexible grid template to use for responsive wireframing and site building
- Strategy for evaluating page content hierarchy
- Tools and “recipes” for creating responsive websites
- How to know when responsive is right for you
- A better understanding of how content strategy and responsive design are interlinked



Brian Young works at Stanford University IT Services, designing and creating Drupal themes for use across campus. Along with Megan Miller, he is a co-maintainer of the Open Framework theme, which is used as the base theme for Stanford’s Drupal theme development.




Technical Level


  • Frameworks of the Modern Web
  • Responsive Design
  • Open Development Processes and Practices
  • HTML 5
  • CSS 3
  • Javascript
  • Responsive Web Design