How do educational organizations create responsive and mobile-friendly documentation using DITA?

Educational organizations can create responsive and mobile-friendly documentation using DITA XML by leveraging the framework’s inherent flexibility and combining it with responsive design principles. Here’s how they can achieve this:

Structured Content Authoring

The foundation of creating mobile-friendly documentation in DITA is structured content authoring. Educational materials need to be authored with structured elements, such as topics, sections, and metadata. This structured approach allows content to be easily adapted for various screen sizes, ensuring that it remains legible and accessible on both desktop and mobile devices.

Responsive Design with CSS

Responsive design is a key component of mobile-friendly documentation. DITA allows educational organizations to implement responsive design using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS media queries enable the adaptation of content layout, fonts, and images based on the screen size of the device. By applying responsive CSS styles to DITA content, organizations can ensure that their educational materials adjust gracefully to mobile screens while maintaining readability and usability.

Single Sourcing for Multiple Outputs

DITA XML excels at single sourcing, meaning you can create content once and deliver it in multiple output formats. Educational organizations can take advantage of this capability to create content that can be easily repurposed for different audiences and devices. By maintaining a single source of truth in DITA and using conditional processing, you can generate content variants optimized for mobile devices alongside desktop-friendly versions.


Here’s an example of a DITA topic structure that incorporates responsive design principles with media queries in CSS:

<topic id="mobile_responsive">
  <title>Mobile-Responsive Design</title>
    <device>desktop, mobile</device>

This is a DITA topic with content optimized for both desktop and mobile devices.

</content> <conditional-dita outputclass="desktop"> <![CDATA[ </conditional-dita> <conditional-dita outputclass="mobile"> <![CDATA[ </conditional-dita> </topic>

In this example, the DITA topic defines an audience and device metadata to indicate its suitability for educators and compatibility with both desktop and mobile devices. The conditional processing in the DITA topic allows for the inclusion of specific CSS styles based on the output class, ensuring that the content is styled appropriately for different screen sizes.