Bootstrap/Responsive Design project

By Mark Eichler posted Jul 24, 2014 09:26 AM


With the July 23 re-launch of HUG, the Higher Logic User’s Group website, we delivered our first responsive website to production.  Soon, new sites will be launched using the new framework and existing client sites will be upgraded.  For existing clients the upgrade process will reflect a partnership – individual client admins working with members of the Higher Logic Customer Support team.  Some clients are very eager to update their sites to the Bootstrap framework.  Others are more hesitant and satisfied with their current site.  Whatever your level of desire to adopt the new framework we look forward to working with you to ensure your satisfaction.

What can you learn from the current HUG?  The experience presented by a “Bootstrapped” Higher Logic site reflects a progression.  These changes deliver a common/superior experience  – one that is touch friendly, attractive across devices, and consistently styled.  The HUG theme (styles, image and color choices) is very close to baseline as configurable within our Content Management System.  An elaborate schema with deep CSS configurations can impair the site’s functioning across browsers and has not been used.  (We deleted over 100 lines of local CSS with the re-launch.)    Because it is now touch-friendly, HUG’s navigation structure also needed to change.  The main navigation bar no longer opens webpages.  The top-most navigation items serve only to group child pages on sites following the change.  HUG’s navigation reflects the current best practices.  The Communities navigation provides access to the important sub-groups of the organization immediately.  Browse and Participate navigation areas are dedicated, respectively, to the pages to review existing content and create new content.  All clients are urged to consider a similar structure.  

Updating to responsive sites will also ease the job of running a site for an administrator.  Themes are simpler to install; core site elements like tabs and buttons can take styles with minimal configuration.   

Going forward, clients whose sites can be updated most quickly are those:

  • Without custom controls or rarely-used controls that have not yet been updated
  • Willing to adopt a navigation structure that follows best practices
  • Willing to utilize a theme close to baseline and without deep CSS styling

The re-launch of HUG marks a major milestone.  Higher Logic’s push to make all the user-facing content responsive is near completion - over 300 individual user controls have been revised – but development is not quite complete.  We are working to ensure 100% of experiences on the Higher Logic platform can happen within a responsive framework.  Please join the conversation surrounding these exciting developments in the Discussion forums of HUG.