Understanding Responsive Web Design in Higher Education


This paper is a publication of the ECAR Mobile Strategy and Application Development (ECAR-MSAD) Working Group. In higher education, nearly every user interaction that takes place on a desktop or laptop browser is also attempted using phones, tablets, watches, and more. As students, faculty, and staff increasingly access campus information via mobile devices and tablets, the need to ensure that campus information and services can be easily and effectively accessed grows. Responsive web design (RWD) applies standards-based technologies to create websites that transform to fit the user’s needs and capabilities, considering aspects such as screen size, pixel density, context, bandwidth, and battery life, among others.

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