Designing for Multiscreen — Multiscreen-ready layout and content! (5/6)

The 5th one of 6 things you should consider when developing strategies for digital services across multiple screens

More and more people are using more and more screens. Users expect to access information on all relevant screens. Thus digital services require a holistic strategy.


  1. Think multiscreen
  2. Know your screens
  3. Put the user at the centre
  4. Context is King
  5. Multiscreen-ready layout and content
  6. Challenges are chances

5) Multiscreen-ready layout and content!

Everything stands and falls with data suitable for multiscreen. Flexible and dynamic layouts and (!) content are paramount. This requires appropriate content management workflows and a suitable content strategy. Of course the content should never be isolated from the potential user and the context of use.

Responsive Webdesign

A modern information offering needs to be accessible on every relevant device. However even within the separate device classes there are enormous differences in terms of the screen size and resolution. Employing flexible, scaleable and adaptive layouts that respond to the device or screen and its properties are a must (see also Marcotte and Tran).

Layout patterns

There are two different approaches: Either the content layout adapts to the changing width when reducing the browser size or you define two or more breakpoints for the output on different devices. Breakpoints are thresholds for which new or different layout templates, rules and definitions apply.

Smart Content

Not only the layout but also the content should adjust to the different situations. The content depth should always be the same since some users access information exclusively on mobile devices. That’s why we should not differentiate between mobile and other content. There is only one information and it is accessed, displayed and used in different ways.

Structure is more important than presentation

Before you develop a layout or a visual design you need to know what kind of content is to be published. Because information is not only consumed on a particular platform but also aggregated to create new information packages through other applications, it is important to focus on the design of the information instead of the design of the display (content design vs. visual design).

Content Management and Content Manager Experience

Many CMSs are largely unsuitable for platform-independent content maintenance. Interfaces are often unattractive and the user experiences for the author or editor leave something to be desired: Usage is no fun. However, it is exceedingly important to motivate those people to create and maintain the information. This aspect is one of the main topics of my talk “Next Generation Information Experience” at Usability Professionals 2014 in Munich (Slides in German).

Content Design and UI Architecture

Information distribution is changing disruptively. Digital contents can appear everywhere today. It is just a fact that we use digital services daily on a wide array of devices and media. Information flows into all channels.

Content Design and UI Architecture for Multiscreen Projects (summary)
Strip content and user interfaces down to the smallest possible elements. Built content and UI in a modular and structured manner based on these elements (comparable to the Atomic Design approach from Brad Frost).

Senior UX Designer (@TeamViewer), UI Architect, Multiscreen Evangelist, JTBD Thinker, Author of @msxbook, Initiator of @dmfndr. I love the web, my 👪 and ⚽️🚵‍.

Senior UX Designer (@TeamViewer), UI Architect, Multiscreen Evangelist, JTBD Thinker, Author of @msxbook, Initiator of @dmfndr. I love the web, my 👪 and ⚽️🚵‍.