In order to reach their audiences across all the platforms now popular, more and more museums are presenting their web content using “responsive design.” This means that online content will be presented in different ways depending on the device on which it is being viewed. In other words, a museum’s website may appear different when it is being seen on a desktop vs. a tablet vs. a smart phone. The “responsiveness” of these designs allows online content to be more facile across today’s ever-changing universe of devices. It no longer assumes a superiority of a one device over another. This gives a greater breadth of creativity to museums in creating their interface as well as their other content.
Cross-platform thinking and responsive design are extraordinarily important for museums to embrace. This workshop will address the three core areas of museum practice that are involved in ‘going digital’ in a networked approach to content and experience design: platform choice, team skills and collaboration, and audience impact. We will discuss how responsive design satisfies certain expectations of a contemporary audience. It will also consider how a cultural institution can continue to try to satisfy those expectations amidst a rapidly changing digital universe.
For better or for worse, the proliferation of platforms and devices in our networked world have led the audiences of cultural institutions to expect more flexible and responsive digital experiences overall.