Content Simplification Meeting Notes

Cheetham, Anastasia acheetham at
Tue Apr 23 17:19:13 EDT 2013

This afternoon, we met to discuss the designs for the UIO Content Simplification. We didn't reach the point of being able to task things out, but we had some great discussions, and raised many questions that need to be answered.

My uncensored, unedited, unreadable notes can be found at

I summarize the discussions below. Please respond with any questions or comments. I ask those who were at the meeting to please correct any mistakes in my notes, or add anything missing.


We considered the two options presented at the bottom of Joanna's designs wiki page:

Option 1:
A slider that gradually simplifies the page to a narrower and narrower width, similar to typical 'responsive design.' No content would be removed, but content would be re-arranged so that "important" content would appear first.

Option 2:
A toggle that would remove everything from the page that wasn't "important" and add a full site-map Table of Contents to the page.

One of the main questions that arose was: Which of these two options would require more work on the part of the integrator?

Option 1 would require integrators to identify the different levels of 'importance' of the content on every page, and ensure that the layouts for each level of simplification on each page look good. (Related question: How many 'levels' of simplification should we have?)

Option 2 would require integrators to identify the most 'important' content on the page, ensure that it lays out nicely when alone on the page, and provide a site map for display.

Other questions that arose include:

What is the difference between Option 1 and what web designers currently think of as 'responsive design?' Many current 'responsive designs' focus on ensuring ease of use on smaller screen sizes, whereas the UIO content simplification would be focused on emphasizing the 'important' content. These two approaches are not necessarily the same ('ease of use' might remove a front-page article in order to prioritize navigation to major sections of the site through enlarged buttons, for example).

How would UIO content simplification interact with any existing responsive designs?

Would the setting be context-dependent? Should the slider adjust automatically to the 'more simplified' end of the scale when in use on a small-screen mobile device? Should the panel and preference be completely eliminated on a small-screen mobile device?

Joanna will be posting a discussion to the list around the question of what is the best form of content simplification from the users perspective.

Anastasia Cheetham     Inclusive Design Research Centre
acheetham at           Inclusive Design Institute
                                        OCAD University

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