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Hendrix College Launches Site with Responsive Web Design

Hendrix College has launched a new Web site that optimizes its content based on the screen width and orientation of the mobile device or computer the user is using. This concept is called responsive Web design.

The Conway, AR-based school turned to the Ektron 8.5 Web Content Management System to handle the content for the Web site since it follows a mobile-first philosophy. How responsive design works is, when a user goes to the Web site, the browser will recognize the screen size of the device that's being used--whether it's smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer--and display the appropriate CSS files for that screen size. The college also uses authoring tool PageBuilder, which has a drag-and-drop interface, to add text, video, photos, and other resources.

The college has two templates set up. One for visitors, parents, alumni, and prospective students urges users to participate or sign up for programs and activities. The second one was designed specifically for students currently attending the college, as well as faculty and staff.

"Our home page at hendrix.edu was specifically designed with prospective students in mind," said Jay Burling, director of Web applications at Hendrix College. "But you'll see from our navigation that we also provide several other 'homepages' for our various audiences--current students, faculty and staff, parents, alumni and other friends of the school, as well as future students."

Some features of Ektron 8.5 include:

  • Authoring tools, which allow users to create and edit content in an environment similar to Microsoft Office. Users can also update formatting across the site with Ektron Smart Forms or CSS stylesheets;
  • PageBuilder, which allows users without technical expertise to drag and drop widgets--including third-party ones such as Salesforce and YouTube--to develop new microsites and pages. The feature also adds multimedia, forms, lists, and other resources to new Web pages;
  • Approval chains, which send notifications via email to the appropriate staff for review before publishing;
  • Role-based log-ins;
  • Responsive design detection, which recognizes screen sizes of multiple devices;
  • Support for HTML5, CSS3, and Jquery; and
  • Integration with Brightcove Video Cloud for mobile video deployment.

To check out the responsively designed Hendrix College Web site, visit hendrix.edu.

To find out more information about the Ektron Web Content Management platform, go to ektron.com.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at timothyjsohn@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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