Adaptive Content, Context and Controversy

In 2016, “adaptive content” has become a buzzword. To some, it’s a complex, long-term initiative to structure content for flexible reuse and dynamic targeting. To others, it’s a way to ensure that everyone, everywhere, sees exactly what they want—like magic! In this talk, Karen shares her perspective (and reservations) on how adaptive content is being used today.

She’ll discuss how adaptive content supports targeting content to device type—and why that’s rarely necessary. She’ll also describe ways that adaptive content can support tailoring content according to context—and ways that can go wrong. You’ll walk away with a better understanding of when adaptive content is necessary and how to get the most value from it.

slides [https://www.slideshare.net/secret/pYflMSVKJJrsKy]

Making the same content available to users regardless of the device used has been part of the W3C’s One Web guidelines since 2008.

Responsive is a front-end technique that uses fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries to flex the layout of the website so it fits on any size screen.

M-dot is a technique that serves a completely different website to mobile devices. Given the constraints of device screen size, there is often less content on a m-dot site.

A view has arisen that responsive is not enough, that a site has to be adaptive – based on a belief that adaptive means a site will magically adapt to display on any device.

To some, adaptive design is a complex, long-term initiative to structure content for flexible reuse and dynamic targeting. To others, it’s a dream way to ensure that everyone, everywhere, sees exactly what they want—like magic!

Adaptive, simply and definitively, means serving something different.

Adaptive content supports targeting content to device type – which is rarely necessary – and can support tailoring content according to context – which can go horribly wrong.

The reality is that responsive and adaptive design should work together.