Gilbane Digital Content Conference: Explaining Adaptive Content

Nov 28, 2017


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Article ImageAdaptive content. You probably hear those words a lot, but like a lot of buzzwords, you may still be struggling to understand what they mean. Juhee Garg, Senior Product Manager, Technical Communications Products, Adobe, was on hand to explain to the keynote audience at Gilbane Digital Content Conference.

Like so many other things in our current digital ecosystem, adaptive content has been shaped by shifting content consumption patterns. As content creators try to keep up with consumers, they realized there had to be a better way than simply chasing audiences from one platform to the next, scrambling to move and update content accordingly. Enter adaptive content.

Garg describes adaptive content as having a few significant, distinctive features. She says it starts by separating the content from the design—which, we all know, often means implementing a “headless” CMS. Essentially, this means creating content once and pushing it out to multiple platforms from one central repository. In order to do that, you need semantically rich content. For instance, you’ll need to embed semantics or intelligence within the content as to what each section actually denotes (i.e.: hero image, product overview, product features, etc.) Next, you’ll need to add contextual information, to let the platform know if content is for a specific device, audience, product, or version.

Putting in this extra work at the outset can save you a lot more work down the line. Because you only have to maintain a single set of content, you only have to update content once. Making your content machine readable, also allows for more intelligent queries. In essence, search engines like Google can pull up the exact piece of your content that’s relevant to a person’s search query, instead of forcing them to scroll through your website looking for the one section that answers their specific question.

Perhaps the ultimate benefit of the adaptive approach is “future-proofing” your content. Whether it’s a virtual reality headset, a voice operated device like Amazon’s Echo, or some device we haven’t yet heard of, your content will be ready for it if its adaptive from the start.


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