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

Creating responsive and mobile-friendly documentation using DITA is crucial for healthcare organizations to ensure that healthcare professionals, patients, and other stakeholders can access information on various devices, including smartphones and tablets. DITA’s structured content and the ability to output content in multiple formats make it well-suited for this purpose. Here’s how healthcare organizations achieve this:

1. Structured Authoring: Healthcare organizations begin by authoring content using the DITA standard. DITA’s structured approach allows content creators to separate content from presentation, making it easier to adapt the same content for different devices. For example, information about a medical procedure can be authored once and then presented differently for desktop and mobile users while maintaining consistency in the underlying content structure.

2. Responsive CSS Styles: To make DITA-generated content responsive, healthcare organizations utilize Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS provides rules for how content should be displayed on various devices. For example, CSS can specify that on smaller screens, certain elements should stack vertically, fonts should resize, and images should adapt to the screen width. This ensures that content is optimized for mobile devices without the need for separate authoring for each device type.


Here’s a snippet of CSS code that demonstrates how content can be made responsive for mobile devices. In this example, the CSS defines a media query that triggers specific styles when the screen width is less than 600 pixels, which is typical for mobile devices. The styles can include adjustments to font size, margins, and more to optimize the content layout.

<!-- Example: CSS for Mobile Responsiveness -->
@media (max-width: 600px) {
  body {
    font-size: 16px;
  img {
    max-width: 100%;
    height: auto;
  /* Add more styles for mobile layout */

3. Output Generation: After authoring content in DITA and defining responsive styles with CSS, healthcare organizations use tools like the DITA Open Toolkit (DITA-OT) to generate output. DITA-OT processes the structured DITA content and applies the responsive styles defined in the CSS, resulting in content that is optimized for mobile and other devices. This output can then be made available to healthcare professionals and patients, ensuring accessibility and a positive user experience on all devices.