Web Engagement across multiple devices has undergone a major evolution over the past few years. We now have concepts like mobile first and responsive design, which allow us to adapt and tailor how our content is consumed on devices, such as mobile, tablets and TV, to create a better experience for users. However, development in advertising hasn’t kept pace with new responsive design approaches. The lack of development and guidelines around responsive advertising is currently holding back our full web development potential. While there are currently some approaches available to allow us to adapt legacy advertising techniques to our forward-thinking websites, we need to develop new approaches to advertising on mobile devices. In this vein, we are very excited to be involved in planning a responsive advertising sprint at NYCCamp this year. Phase2 along with leading NYC Drupal developers, have created three goals for the sprint:
- Create a Drupal module to standardize a common approach for adapting current advertising techniques to responsive web design.
- Work with various advertising servers to work out implementation details for HTML5 responsive advertisements.
- Create and refine recommendations for responsive HTML5 advertisements to present to the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
is a major Drupal contributor and expert responsive web developer. He is currently a senior front-end developer at NBCUniversal, and helping us to define and lead this responsive advertising sprint. I sat down with Sam to talk about the current state of responsive advertising and why this sprint is so important. Q: Sam, can you tell us a little about your background in Drupal and responsive development? A: I've been building responsive websites for more than 2 years now, having worked on small and large scale sites. I've been giving responsive web design trainings for about a year and a half, and have built a number of tools and techniques to make building responsive sites easier. I have been in the Drupal community for a little over 3 years, where I have have participated, trained, and presented at an ever increasing number of Drupal camps and Cons. I maintain the Borealis suite, and co-maintain the Aurora base theme and the Magic module. I have also worked a bit on Drupal 8 core, specifically around the HTML5 initiative and more recently, the SCOTCH initiative. Q: Can you explain why one of the sprint goals is to create recommendations for the IAB about responsive HTML5 advertisements? A: Currently, the IAB's guidelines simply do not broach the subject of responsive advertisements. More importantly, HTML5 ads are laser focused on Desktop experiences and therefore miss a golden opportunity to include true cross-browser advertising. Q: So this sprint is as much about developing a new Drupal module as it is about diffusing knowledge about responsive advertising? A: Exactly. It is vital that we are able to hold this sprint and get the IAB seriously looking at responsive advertising. With out a viable solution, we will be unable to sustain responsive web design at large, and especially development of ad-driven sites without resorting to bad practices on the developer end, while we support the current legacy ad systems. Q: So who should attend this Ad Sprint? A: We are looking for business leaders and stakeholders to attend this sprint to provide use-cases for our module as well as weigh in on the HTML5 recommendations. It will also be important to have front-end developers that are comfortable with Responsive Web Design to assist in writing the technical side of the standards and build working demos of the proposed responsive ad types. Finally, we need strong Drupal developers to assist in building the final module. If you would like to learn more about Sam’s responsive work, you can follow him on GitHub, and more on his site. If you are interested in attending the responsive advertising sprint at NYCCamp, signup here!