Responsive Web Design And New Digital Publishing Trends

Responsive Web Design And New Digital Publishing Trends.

Here is the story of how Livebook was born

We live at the age of responsive web design and ever-changing digital publishing trends. Livebook is a result of everyday creative problem-solving for clients. It was a typical day in the MMR agency when a new brief arrived. The task: to design a new rulebook that is aligned with modern digital publishing trends.

The challenge our client faced was that each time a rule changed, they would need to update and re-print the whole document – an expensive and time-consuming exercise.  Limited budgets and resources within their team meant the needed to find another way. Inspired by the current digital publishing trends, a responsive web design solution was needed.

And so, with some creative thinking, brainstorming, and troubleshooting, we came up with a solution for their problem.

Why not create a responsive website that beautifully displays a document, but can be easily edited, LIVE, when you log in to the back end of the site? The essential function would be the ability to convert the entire website into a PDF, making it quick and easy to print and bind as needed.

We soon realized that we have come up with something completely new. And so, Livebook was born.

Click here to find out more about the Livebook development process.


Who can benefit from using Livebook?

Livebook is best suited to those that use large scale documents that require ongoing or regular updates. For example; annual reports, rulebooks, or directory listings. These type of long-format publications can be found across many industries and further examples include: 

  • Policy Documents
  • Instruction Manuals
  • Directories
  • Rule Books
  • Handbooks
  • Yearbooks
  • Annual Reports
  • Activity Books
  • Magazines and much more

Livebook, as a responsive web design solution, operates with a user-friendly CMS in the back end. It is designed to be intuitive, so anyone with access can log in and make updates to the document.

A simple drag and drop interface allows users to edit text, upload images and videos. They can easily control the number of columns, font sizes, margins etc. 

The ability to update the document live assists with version control and eliminates the risk of someone having an outdated version of the document.   

Once published, any updates made are instantly displayed on the front end of the site. Because Livebook is built on fully responsive web design, the updates will also carry over into the PDF document when generated. 


Different Livebook benefits and capabilities – Benefits of fully responsive web design

Another trait of using a Livebook rather than a PDF is that – well, technically it is a fully functioning responsive website. It is a whole next level of possibilities when compared to a PDF document. When looking at overall digital publishing trends at the moment, we can clearly see that the PDF is slowly fading.

Even though we have a set structure in place of what a standard Livebook includes, it is always possible to tweak the code to your specific requirements.

Here are some of the examples of what is possible with Livebook:

  • You can monetise your Livebook with ads.
  • It is a website – quickly and easily share a link to anyone.
  • You can share it on your social media for some extra exposure.
  • Include videos and image galleries.
  • Analytics – Livebook is a website, so analytics apply just the same way.
  • Livebook is SEO friendly, meaning it has much higher chances of showing up on search results than a PDF does.
  • Quickly determine access levels for different users.
  • Fill it with backlinks directing back to your main website, generating traffic and improving your page SEO.

Livebook can be cost-effective to build because the designers don’t need to design all the pages of the document. Because of our templated approach, they only need to create examples of the different types of pages in the report. The developer will then apply this design into the Livebook platform and drop in the content for the rest of the pages. As a product of responsive web design, the platform code will make those pages follow the same design rules throughout the document.

This templated approach significantly reduces the designer’s work hours. It almost costs the same to build an editable website than it does to design a massive document. And the document would need to be redesigned and re-printed whenever there are updates!


Livebook is a result of responsive web design with sophisticated access control

Worried about documents that are confidential or have sensitive information in them? 

With Livebook, you can decide which sections display on the website for everyone to see, and which sections remain private. 

Additionally, users can be set up with different levels of access or given specific editing rights.  By creating certain permissions, you can ensure that the right people are editing your documents at the right time and in the right way.


Enjoy the excellent user experience and flexibility of Livebook

Does this sound like the right solution for your company’s rulebooks, editable documents, and presentations?

Feel free to check out some examples on and get in touch.

If you like Livebook but are looking for a something different for your project, have a look at eBrochures. eBrochures is another product of MMR, which is following slightly different digital publishing trends. They are also results of great responsive web design, but to compare to Livebook, they are more suitable for more short and punchy marketing content.