Smart Content: What Does ‘responsive’ Mean? Canada Phone Number

For an update to this article, see Responsive Content: The Path to Your Customer’s Heart.

If adaptive content could speak to its recipients, this is what it would look like.

Imagine your organization’s content serving people in ways so personal Chile Mobile Number List and useful that it sparks feelings for your brand. What impact could these feelings have on your business? (Hint: Consider this tagline, to you by the folks at Connective DX: “Companies that are win.”)

As you ponder the impact more customer love could have on your business, let me give you an overview of the sections in this article:

  • Why this article?
  • What does “adaptive content” mean?
  • How is responsive content different from responsive design?
  • Adaptive content and personalization
  • How to get with adaptive content

Why this article?

This is one of six articles discussing Ann Rockley’s definition of intelligent content: *

Intelligent content is content that is structurally rich and Cryp Email List semantically categorized and therefore automatically discoverable, reusable, reconfigurable and adaptable .

This article focuses on the sixth element of definition: adaptability. (I hear more adaptive than adaptable these days, so I use that term in this article.)

What does “adaptive content” mean?

Adaptive content is content that can, with each use, change (adapt) – not only in appearance but in substance – depending on a number of factors. What factors? Consider this tweet from a recent talk by Karen McGrane.


Karen McGrane’s slide lists more than a dozen factors that could determine how content might fit for a given use.

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Look at all the factors listed by Karen:

  • The device (operating system, mobile, tablet, desktop, screen resolution)
  • The context (time, place, speed, humidity, temperature)
  • The person (age, gender, life stage, language, relationships)

Does your organization’s content have the built-in intelligence to adapt to all of these factors? I think I can answer this question: no, it’s not. Don’t feel bad; no one does. It’s hard to design content that needs to be so smart. Karen’s list is not a set of things to do. It’s a snapshot of a realm of possibility, a set of things to consider — strategically — when imagining the experiences you want your customers and prospects to have with your content.

How is responsive content different from responsive design?

Adaptiveness goes beyond responsive design – that is, it goes beyond layout changes (as discussed here). Adaptive content enables dynamic and personalized delivery of the content itself.


Content delivered in a responsive design changes aesthetically, not adaptively. The content itself does not change. It simply redefines itself to fit a device’s screen size and orientation, as shown in these screenshots of the Intelligent Content Conference Agenda page on a smartphone.

In The Language of Content Strategy , Charles Cooper defines adaptive content this way:

[Responsive] content is designed to adapt to the customer’s needs, not only in aesthetics, but also in substance and capacity. Adaptive content automatically responds to the screen size and orientation of any device, but goes further by displaying relevant content that takes full advantage of the specific capabilities of the device being used.

Here’s how Noz Urbina explains the difference in a slightly more technical way. (I quote here a comment Noz made while reviewing a draft of this article.

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