Core Publisher and Responsive Web Design: An Intro

Mar 24, 2014

2014 marks a major initiative for NPR Digital Services -- the responsive redesign of Core Publisher. With all the things we could be doing at Digital Services and all the work we could be doing on Core Publisher in particular, here’s why we are choosing to focus our resources on a responsive redesign of Core Publisher.

(This is article one of three. Read about the Redesign Goals and the Redesign Roadmap for more info.)

The Mobile Majority

Given NPR’s mission to create a more informed public, widely distribute content, grow new audience and reimage web-first radio, our digital presence and accessibility is increasingly important.

Content accessed via mobile is rapidly growing. The public media audience accessed station content on mobile devices only 10 percent of the time in November 2011, but 36 percent of the time by January 2014. We are estimating that by spring of 2015, more than 50 percent of visitors (or a mobile majority) will access station sites using a tablet, phablet, or phone. 

Core Publisher mobile sites have a limited feature set (posts, a river-style homepage and a persistent streaming player). The Core Publisher redesign will optimize content across all breakpoints.

Flexibility Needs

Flexibility in Core Publisher is a primary consideration in the redesign. Digital Services ran a survey in fall 2013 to gauge station sentiment around Core Publisher. Almost half of the responders advocated for increased control over story curation and layout on the homepage, story pages and topics pages. We are responding to this clear need by focusing on improving flexibility in Core Publisher while enhancing its look and feel.

Re-imagining Web-first Audio

NPR is re-committing to the importance of our core asset - audio. Core Publisher was built to optimize text and images as part of the transition to digital-first content. The Core Publisher redesign will enhance access streaming and on-demand audio as well.

Between station audience, station needs in the content management system, and the opportunity NPR has with digital audio, it makes sense for us to devote significant resources in 2014 to a responsive redesign of Core Publisher.

Access more information about the Core Publisher responsive redesign at