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The Guardian is beta-testing a revamped version of its mobile site using responsive design to ease the process of publishing across multiple operating systems (OS) as the title pursues its digital first strategy.

The Guardian new mobile site on Android.

The Guardian is currently directing a small number of mobile users to the URL beta.guardian.co.uk which displays content in a different way to the existing mobile version of the website. The new site features a blue masthead, additional pictures and a more streamlined homepage, pictured right.

Talking about the move to a responsive design in a blog post last month, developer Matt Andrews said, “The benefits to us as developers is clear: we can avoid the headache of re-implementing features and concepts across multiple platforms multiple times, and streamline our release process to allow us to push updates and enhancements out to several of these platforms simultaneously.”

The Guardian’s existing mobile site on Android.

In terms of user experience, he said, “The benefit to the end user is the experience of browsing a webpage which is tailored for their particular viewing context, rather than attempting a one-size-fits-all approach which either forces everybody into a lowest common denominator pigeon hole, or assumes a high bar of entry which not all visitors can match.”

The project has involved a restructure of the publisher’s technology stack, almost in its entirety.

Andrews added, “The responsive aspect of the project is still fairly brief – our initial goal is simply to update the Guardian’s current mobile website. Eventually we aim to scale up to handle resolutions up to desktop width, but this goal is a while away yet.”

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Published 9 November, 2012 by NMA Staff

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