How do government agencies create responsive and mobile-friendly documentation using DITA?

Government agencies are increasingly adopting DITA for creating responsive and mobile-friendly documentation to ensure accessibility on various devices. DITA’s ability to structure content semantically allows for the dynamic display of information based on the device being used.

Responsive Design Principles

By utilizing DITA’s semantic tagging, agencies can define content that automatically adjusts to the screen size of tablets, smartphones, and desktops. This is achieved through the use of responsive design principles in the publishing process, where stylesheets are applied to DITA XML to render the content effectively across devices.

Adaptable Content Delivery

DITA supports the use of conditional processing attributes to serve different content to different devices. For instance, a government health advisory might display more detailed graphics on a desktop, while providing concise, essential information on a mobile device to accommodate for screen size and mobile data constraints.


Below is a simplified example of DITA XML coded for responsive design:

<topic id="public-safety-announcement">
  <title>Public Safety Announcement</title>
  <body outputclass="responsive">
      <p>Key points for public awareness and safety.</p>
      <title>Preventative Measures</title>
      <p>Steps to take to ensure personal and public safety.</p>
      <title>Emergency Contacts</title>
      <p>Essential contact information for emergency services.</p>

This DITA XML snippet illustrates how content is structured with an `outputclass` attribute to indicate that it should be responsive. When processed with the appropriate DITA-OT stylesheets, the resulting documentation will adapt to the viewing device, ensuring that the content is easily readable and navigable whether on a phone, tablet, or desktop screen.