Luke Explains Multi-Device Web Design

Hey guys. This is Luke Wroblewski,
author of Mobile First. And I’m here to talk to you
guys sort of about what’s happening with all these devices
connecting to the internet and how in the
world do we cope. If you’ve been paying attention,
you’ve seen that lots and lots of smartphones
have made into people’s hands. And then lots and
lots of tablets. And now we’re entering the stage
where operating systems like Microsoft’s Windows 8 are
really starting to blend what’s a laptop, what’s
a tablet. Companies like Samsung are
starting to blend what’s a tablet, and what’s a phone. And so you really start coming
up with a very diverse range of computing devices that people
are using to access the web, play with software,
and work with software. And at first, this
seems really darn intimidating, right? How do you go for designing
something that works on a small screen, a medium-sized
screen, a portable screen, a stationary screen, a
desk-sized screen? And those screens can sort of
be high resolution and low resolution. You can use touch with them. You can use keyboards. You can use mice. You can use styluses. Ah! It’s kind of overwhelming. The good news is as we’ve sort
of followed along on this progression, all these computer
manufacturers have really started to fill
in the blanks. And what I mean by that is
whereas you used to have a real clear line between a mobile
phone, and a tablet, and a laptop, now, you
have really have a clean spectrum almost. So mobile phones go from 3 inch
screens up until about 6 inch screens. Tablets start at about
7 inch screens. Roll up to 11 inch screens,
laptops continue that trend from 11 to 17. And then up comes a desktop. I’m simplifying a little bit. But the key message there
is actually it’s a continuum, right? It’s not these really
clean breaks. And what that means is you sort
of have to consider the whole range. Same thing’s happening
with touch. Used to be that touch was just
for smartphones and tablets. Now you’ve got laptops with
touch, desktops with touch. And similarly, you have
smartphones with keyboards and cursors just like you
have laptops with keyboards and cursors. And so this sort of evening out
of all the capabilities across these devices– while it may seem like a curse, it’s actually a blessing. Because that means we can get
to one design, a design that works across all screens, a
design that always works for touch, a design that
always works for a cursor and keyboard. That kind of consistency,
to a certain extent, is very freeing. Because it means we only need
one kind of web design– a multi-device web design. The part that’s challenging is
creating a multi-device web design is different than what
we’ve been doing on the web until now. And I think therein lies
the opportunity and challenge for designers. And hopefully, you guys
are on top of that. There’s lots of things
happening on the web to help you out. So Godspeed and good luck.

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